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Denmark becomes the newest team to focus on Qatar

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Image source: AP

Denmark national team players wear “Football supports change” shirts ahead of World Cup qualifiers for Group F qualifiers between Denmark and Moldova, at MCH Arena in Herning, Sunday, March 28

Denmark has become the last European football team to use World Cup qualifiers to draw attention to workers’ rights in Qatar, which is hosting the 2022 tournament.

The Danish players wore red T-shirts with the slogan “Football supports change” for the team’s photo before the start against Moldova. The Danes won 8-0 to continue a strong start in Group F.

The Danish Football Federation said the shirts would be signed and auctioned to raise money for projects with Amnesty International to help migrant workers in Qatar.

Denmark followed the Dutch team on Saturday, which wore T-shirts with the same slogan.

Previously, players from Norway and Germany wore T-shirts before the game to draw attention to human rights issues in Qatar. The Norwegian national team made a point for the rights again before its match against Turkey on Saturday.

The German footballers made a more subtle gesture in the photo of the team on Sunday in Romania. They wore shirts with each name and number facing the front of a photo posted on official social media accounts with the message

“We are for 30” and the hashtag “HUMANRIGHTS.”

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer confirmed to the German television channel RTL that these are the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“We are all for fair play, both on and off the field, and we support these 30 articles,” Neuer said.

After winning the vote to host the World Cup in 2010, Qatar faced control over the living and working conditions of migrant workers who help build stadiums, transport and other pre-tournament construction projects. It starts in November next year.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino defended Qatar this month, saying that hosting the World Cup has accelerated social progress in the emirate.

Although the FIFA Code of Discipline states that players and federations may face disciplinary action in cases of “using a sporting event for non-sporting demonstrations”, no investigation will be opened after the first protest in Norway. (

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