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27th Mar 2021

Norway make another stand against human rights abuses in Qatar

Charlie Herbert

They’re not shying away from the debate

The Norwegian national team have yet again sent out a strong message against human rights abuses in Qatar.

Ahead of their second qualifier with Turkey, the Norway players wore t-shirts asking who would be next in joining them in the campaign. Germany also decided to send out a message ahead of their victory over Iceland on Thursday, a move that the Norway side have acknowledged in their latest message. The t-shirts read: “Human rights – On and Off the pitch. Norway √ Germany √ Next?”

It is the second time in three days that the side have shown support for migrant workers in Qatar, having worn t-shirts carrying the same message of “Human rights on and off the pitch” ahead of their opening qualifier against Gibraltar on Wednesday.

Their campaign against the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar has gathered momentum in recent days. A report in the Guardian published in February revealed that more than 6,500 migrant workers from Southern Asia have died in Qatar since the country was awarded the right to host the 2022 World Cup. The country has taken on a huge construction programme of building stadiums and infrastructure ahead of the tournament, and as a result thousands of migrant workers have travelled to the country for work.

Also today the Netherlands national team wore black t-shirts with ‘Football supports change” written on them before their qualifier with Latvia, seemingly joining Norway and Germany in the cause.

The campaign, which was the idea of Norwegian club side Tromso, seems to have gathered momentum, and is finally alerting people to the dreadful human rights abuses that have been occuring in Qatar as part of their World Cup preparations.

It would be brilliant to see England and other major footballing nation adopt a similar stance, on an issue that has not received the level of international scrutiny that it has warranted in recent years.