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English FA reacts to Qatar human right controversy ahead of World Cup

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The Middle Eastern country has had a concerning workers’ rights record since FIFA confirmed their World Cup bid.

The FA has released a joint statement with nine other European football associations to acknowledge Qatar’s progress regarding their labour and human rights ahead of World Cup.

Three weeks ahead of the tournament, Qatar’s human rights record and its tolerance for LGBTQ+ guests have returned to headlines in Europe.

Bundesliga fans attended the German league matches with banners questioning FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the hosting rights.

 A statement released on the official FA website reads: “With the FIFA World Cup Qatar beginning shortly, we would like to react to the latest developments and public discussions related to challenges in the host country off the pitch before the sport shall soon take centre stage.

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“We acknowledge, and welcome, as we have done in the past, that significant progress has been made by Qatar, particularly with regards to the rights of migrant workers, with the impact of legislative changes demonstrated in the International Labour Organisation’s recent reports.

 “We welcome the assurances given by the Qatari Government and by FIFA regarding the safety, security and inclusion of all fans who travel to the World Cup, including LGBTQ+ fans.

“We also recognise that every country has issues and challenges and we agree with FIFA that diversity is a strength.

“However, embracing diversity and tolerance also means supporting human rights. Human rights are universal and they apply everywhere.”

Other parties that have signed the joint statement are the respective FAs of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales.