Socceroos video seeks real Qatar World Cup legacies

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The Australian men’s soccer team has released a three-minute video highlighting Qatar’s human rights record, including its treatment of foreign workers and restrictions on the LGBTQI community. +, and demanding real reform as a legacy of the Gulf country’s staging of the World Cup.

In the video, 16 players read a sentence or two each from a statement. Football Australia also issued a separate statement which read: « The tournament has been associated with suffering for some migrant workers and their families and this cannot be ignored. »

The gas-rich emirate has come under heavy criticism over the past decade for its treatment of migrant workers, mostly from South Asia, who were needed to build tens of billions of dollars worth of stadiums, metro lines, roads and hotels.

The Socceroos are one of 32 teams competing as of November 20-December. 18 World Cup and added their voices to a growing list of players from competing nations pointing out the issues.

“Resolving these issues is not easy. And we don’t have all the answers,” the Australian players said in the video posted on Thursday. “We stand with FIFPro, Building and Wood Workers’ International and the International Trade Union Confederation, seeking to anchor reforms and establish a lasting legacy in Qatar. This must include the creation of a resource center for migrants, an effective remedy for those who have been deprived of their rights and the decriminalization of all same-sex relationships.

“These are the fundamental rights that should be granted to all and will ensure continued progress in Qatar. . . (and) a legacy that goes far beyond the final whistle of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan says in the video: “There are universal values ​​that should define football – values ​​such as respect, dignity, trust and courage. When we represent our nation, we aspire to embody these values,”

“As members of the PFA, we understand the power of collective bargaining and the fundamental rights of all workers to form and join a union,” adds Danny Vukovic.

Football Australia said the video followed almost two years of consultations between the Socceroos, the players’ union, and Football Australia with a number of global organisations, including Amnesty International, the sport’s world governing body and the FIFPRO, the worldwide players’ organization.

Qatar’s ruling emir lashed out this week at his country’s criticism of its preparations to host the marquee soccer tournament, describing it as an « unprecedented campaign » targeting the first Arab nation to host the tournament.

Qatar has repeatedly pushed back, insisting the country has improved protections for migrant workers and saying the criticisms are outdated.

In a televised address on Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Qatar « has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has ever faced ».

“The campaign tends to continue and expand to include fabrications and double standards that were so fierce that it unfortunately left many questioning the real reasons and motives,” he said. he declares.

Last month, eight of the 13 European teams qualified for the tournament said their captains will wear an armband with a multicolored heart-shaped design during matches in support of the ‘One Love’ campaign against discrimination.

The gesture is a clear violation of FIFA rules. It also reflects unease inside the country at the prospect of hosting the biggest football event in Qatar, where homosexual acts are illegal. Qatar says LGTBQ fans will not be arrested.


AP World Cup coverage:

Dennis Passa, Associated Press


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