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13 Aug 2022

Human Rights Watch

English Football Should Stand for Rights as World Cup Approaches

Rights groups, activists, and fans have rightly criticized the decision of FIFA, football’s international governing body, to award the 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Qatar, citing the country’s serious human rights violations...

Qatar has finally introduced promising labor reforms in the last few years, but these have been weakly enforced. The #PayUpFIFA campaign by Human Rights Watch and other organizations is calling on FIFA and Qatar to provide remedy for abuses against migrant workers... The United Kingdom’s two largest trade unions, Unite and Unison, are supporting this call.

Yet with the World Cup fast approaching, the English Football Association has yet to take a clear position...

The Football Association’s push to create a better legacy for the games is commendable, but the World Cup is less than 100 days away and it hasn’t taken a firm position against abuse in Qatar. The Association should build on England men’s captain Harry Kane’s call for a unified stand on human rights and publicly request FIFA to remedy migrant worker abuses, including through financial compensation. A bold stance will set an example for young fans across the country, both on and off the pitch.