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English FA under pressure to protest against conditions for Qatar's migrant labourers

Construction workers in the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Doha, Qatar on December 21, 2019 in Doha, Qatar [Matthew Ashton/AMA/Getty Images]
Construction workers in the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Doha, Qatar on December 21, 2019 in Doha, Qatar [Matthew Ashton/AMA/Getty Images]

The English Football Association (FA) has come under pressure to join the likes of Germany, the Netherlands and Norway in protesting against the working conditions of migrant labourers in Qatar ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. All three European countries wore t-shirts before their World Cup qualifiers over the past week with slogans voicing concern over human rights in Qatar.

The protests follow a report last month which claimed that at least 6,500 migrant workers had died in the wealthy Gulf state in the decade since it won the right to stage the FIFA tournament.

"England players will be guided by their own consciences, but if they end up following the lead of German, Dutch and Norwegian players we'd be extremely pleased," said Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, in a statement to Reuters. "Harry Kane and the England squad can read the numerous reports about exploited migrant workers in Qatar and quickly see there's a very serious problem."

Allen added that it is really important for FIFA, the FA, and individual teams and players to use their influence to keep pressing the Qatari authorities to follow through on promised labour reforms.

READ: Qatar rejects HRW report on women's rights, freedom

England manager Gareth Southgate said that talks between the FA and Amnesty International are ongoing after the organisation wrote to the national governing body last year urging it to put pressure on FIFA over the situation.

"In terms of the situation in Qatar, the FA is working closely with Amnesty International and will be talking with Qatar as well," said Southgate. "My understanding is that Amnesty doesn't want the tournament postponed or moved. It wants to work and highlight issues that could be improved."

Qatar's World Cup organisers insist that health and safety reforms introduced since the World Cup bid have led to a reduction in mortality among workers over the past decade.

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Europe & RussiaFIFAInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsQatarUK
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