The Danish Football Association (DBU) announced yesterday that FIFA had rejected Denmark’s request to train at the World Cup in shirts that displayed the words “human rights for all.”
Jakob Jensen, the DBU’s director, said that the international football governing body rejected the request as it does not allow political messages on shirts.
“We don’t think there’s any politics in it. We think that human rights are universal, and we stand by this view,” he told Danish news agency Ritzau.
“FIFA has a different assessment, and sadly we had to take that into consideration,” he added.
FIFA, which prohibits all political messages, urged teams in a letter last week, to ‘focus on football’ and not to drag it ‘into every ideological or political battle’.
In response, Amnesty International slammed the letter, stating: “We do not understand that FIFA rejects this fine and important initiative from DBU.”
“FIFA says time and time again that they take human rights very seriously, and in 2017 the association adopted a human rights policy for the first time, in which they undertake to respect human rights.”
“We therefore believe that it is disappointing that they reject this basic human rights message.”
Qatar is set to host the World Cup from 20 November to 18 December. It has however come under increased scrutiny and attack as a result of its human rights record.
Hummel, the kit manufacturer, said it had toned down the details on Denmark’s World Cup shirts and released a black kit as a protest against Qatar’s human rights record ahead of the tournament.
Last month, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani slammed the “unprecedented campaign” of criticism against the Gulf country in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also denounced criticism of the Gulf country’s hosting of the World Cup as “hypocrisy”.
“I think there are some people who don’t accept that a small country in the Middle East is hosting such a global event,” Bin Abdulrahman said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper.
“The reasons given for boycotting the World Cup do not add up. There is a lot of hypocrisy in these attacks, which ignore all that we have achieved,” he added.