Germany follow Norway with T-shirt protest at Qatar human rights record
24 hours on from a similar protest by Norway's players, Germany's team wore T-shirts in support of Qatar's migrant workers
Germany's national side marked their opening qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup by protesting the human rights record of Qatar, the tournament's host nation.
Die Mannschaft's starting lineup for the game against Iceland each wore black T-shirts, spelling out the message 'Human Rights'.
It comes just a day after Norway's players had staged a similar protest prior to their game against Gibraltar, after several of the Scandinavian nation's most prominent clubs had called for a boycott of the tournament.
"We felt that we cannot arrange the greatest thing in football, the World Cup, on the grounds of dead people..."
How @tromsoil, a small club from Norway's Arctic north, led calls for the country's boycott of the Qatar World Cup | @SmnLlyd5https://t.co/hXUoJ2b2mS
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) March 25, 2021
Qatar will host the World Cup at the end of next year. Their treatment of migrant workers has yet again been under scrutiny following an article from the Guardian which claimed that over 6,500 had died in the country since it was awarded the tournament in 2010.
"We have the World Cup coming up and there will be discussions about it," Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka said after the game in Duisburg, which Germany won 3-0.
"We wanted to show we are not ignoring that.
"We have a large reach and we can use it to set an example for the values we want to stand for."
Earlier this week, Amnesty International addressed an open letter to Gianni Infantino, FIFA's president, urging him to take urgent action to ensure the World Cup leaves a positive and lasting legacy for all of the country's migrant workers.
The letter acknowledges and welcomes the changes the Qatari government has made to its labour system in recent years, including to the kafala sponsorship system, which legally bound migrant workers to their employer.
It also explains, however, that while such legal changes make it easier for workers to escape the clutches of exploitative employers, they are unlikely to significantly reduce the abuse itself or improve migrant workers' conditions without further measures to increase protections and guarantee enforcement of such reforms.
'Poor implementation and enforcement of Qatar’s reforms to date,' the letter reads, 'has meant the impact on many workers’ lives sadly appears to have been limited, and serious labour abuses continue in the country.'