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Rights group calls on FIFA to condemn racism in Denmark at Word Cup

Former Football Player Lothar Matthaus shows Denmark during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final Draw at Doha Exhibition Center on April 1, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. [Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images]
Former Football Player Lothar Matthaus shows Denmark during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final Draw at Doha Exhibition Center on April 1, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. [Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images]

A Danish human rights organisation has called on the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) to allow referees to raise signs condemning Danish racism during World Cup matches in Qatar 2022.

In an open letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the organisation calling itself DENMARK UNCENSORED urged: "To support marginalised and vulnerable people affected by the racist laws of the Danish government."

The organisation was founded in 2020 by a group of Danish human rights defenders and expatriates exasperated with the Danish government's racist policies that target minorities and people of colour.

In its open letter, the organisation commended the extraordinary efforts exerted by the State of Qatar to organise the final matches of the 2022 World Cup. It pressed FIFA to take advantage of this opportunity to shed light on and recognise the dire conditions of refugees and people of colour in Denmark who suffer intolerable violations by the government. The letter also listed the various human rights violations against women, minorities, refugees and athletes in Denmark.

In its letter, the organisation expressed: "Despite the claims of the Danish government that the country is democratic and human rights are respected, human rights organisations and various sports establishments have reported several waves of violations against all segments of society, especially against women and homosexuals." The letter also referred to reports by other human rights organisations that criticised the Danish government for its racist policies targeting minorities.

READ: Qatar rejects Israeli demand for consulate during FIFA World Cup 2022

A few days ago, human rights activists from Denmark organised a sit-in in front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva on the occasion of the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting to condemn violations and racism in Denmark.

The organisers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, on Thursday confronted the allegations of the company sponsoring the Danish national football team, Hummel, and challenged it to prove its accusations against Qatar about the deaths of thousands of workers during the construction of the World Cup stadiums.

The committee stressed its opposition to the allegations by Hummel, the designer of the Danish national football team's clothing, that the World Cup in Qatar cost thousands of lives. In response to the company's allegations, the commission announced in a statement that it had held a "deep and transparent dialogue" with the Danish Football Association on the subject. According to Agence France-Presse, it urged it to: "Accurately convey the results of these intensive consultations and work with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and ensure that they are accurately conveyed to their partners in the Hummel company."

The committee highlighted the "significant reforms in the labour market in Qatar" in recent years, which were recognised by actors such as the International Labour Organization, stressing: "Like any other country, progress on these issues is an endless journey, and Qatar is committed to this journey."

It also refused to underestimate the importance of the actual commitment to protecting the health and safety of 30,000 workers who built the stadiums of the FIFA World Cup and other projects of the tournament, noting that this commitment now covers 150,000 workers through the various tournament services and 40,000 workers in the hospitality sector. It affirmed: "Countries must exert more efforts to protect the rights of people around the world, including Denmark."

Read: Denmark's World Cup shirt slams Qatar's rights record

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