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Sportswear giants Hummel protest Qatar rights record with new World Cup kit

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By Martin Graham | 29th Sep 2022

Denmark have unveiled their kit for the Qatar World Cup this November. The kit, which includes a black strip, is to protest the human rights record in Qatar.

The FIFA World Cup will kick off in less than two months, with all the participating countries preparing in earnest. Despite the tournament already upon us, there are still grey areas worrying some of the teams.

It is not a hidden issue that Qatar has an unimpressive human rights record. The status of the middle eastern country on human rights was in the public domain, and much as it irked many, FIFA shifted several goalposts to award Qatar the hosting rights for the World Cup.

There is a hue and cry over how Qatar handles several human rights issues, particularly that of homosexuality. With the Middle Eastern country unwilling to shift ground in some positions, brands and participating nations intend to take actions that promote their cause of human rights during the competition.

Let the protests begin

The time is almost upon us, yet not much has changed as the World Cup is about to start. European nations and their allies have angled for stricter regulations against Qatar following the nations’ poor human rights records. Several countries and brands have decided to lead protests against the host country.

Hummel has decided on the actions at the World Cup to protest their human rights position. The kit supplier has unveiled a monochrome strip for the Qatar World Cup. Hummel hopes the statement is loud enough to get the ear of the authorities in Qatar.

The sportswear company said it sent a dual message when it unveiled the shirts for Qatar 2022 on social media. The Euro 92 success of Denmark, where they won their only major trophy, has inspired the red strip that the Danes will wear in Qatar.

Denmark will also have an all-black design as their third kit. The sportswear company said black signifies the colour of mourning.

For Hummel, the dual message is a tribute to the success of Euro 92 and a protest against Qatar and its human rights record.

Other actions against Qatar

The host nation Qatar has come under intense criticism from human rights groups for the way they have treated its migrant workers. In the build-up to the tournament, thousands of workers were allegedly injured or killed.

There have also been alleged reports of workers denied exit out of the country.

Earlier this month, there were agitations for contributions by FIFA to a compensation scheme for the workers.

The human rights groups, including Amnesty International, called on FIFA to put some money aside to support the scheme. The money they’re asking for amounts to about $440million (£380m). It is the equivalent of what FIFA intends to hand out in World Cup prize money.

The rights groups have also raised fears about the safety of LGBTQ+ England fans travelling to Qatar. In the Middle Eastern country, same-sex relationships and the promotion of same-sex relationships are criminal offences. Perhaps Europe will do well to respect the cultures of other countries.

England captain Harry Kane will continue to wear an anti-discrimination armband throughout England’s participation at the World Cup.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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