Sports Desk, Sep 29 (EFE).- The organizing committee for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Thursday hit back at sportswear brand Hummel over its decision to manufacture monochrome kits for the Danish national team in protest of the Gulf state’s human rights record.
Revealing the Danish national team’s World Cup attire Wednesday, Hummel said it did not “wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.”
The Qatar World Cup’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) responded with a statement saying it disputed Hummel’s claim.
“Furthermore, we whole-heartedly reject the trivialising our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.
“That same commitment now extends to 150,000 workers across various tournament services and 40,000 workers in the hospitality sector,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesperson said the SC had worked “diligently” with the Qatari government to ensure the World Cup led to a “lasting social legacy.”
“Our commitment to this legacy has contributed to significant reforms to the labour system enacting laws protecting the rights of workers and ensuring improved living conditions for them.”
The SC said its work had been “recognized” by “numerous” international human rights entities as a model that “accelerated progress and improved lives.”
Qatari reforms had also been “acknowledged” by the International Labour Organization and the International Trade Union Confederation as a “benchmark” in the region.
“Through our collaboration with the UEFA Working Group and various other platforms led by FIFA and other independent groups, we have engaged in robust and transparent dialogue with the DBU (Danish Football Association). This dialogue resulted in a better understanding of the progress made, the challenges faced, and the legacy we will deliver beyond 2022.”
The statement continued: “We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the SC, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel.”
The Danish sport brand’s social media posts on Wednesday garnered thousands of likes.
Hummel unveiled three Denmark jerseys – one white, one red and one black.
Each was designed in a “toned down” style, meaning the national team’s badge and the Hummel logo blend into the material.
Hummel said the black jersey, the team’s third kit at the World Cup in Qatar, represented the “colour of mourning.”
It added: “We wish to make a statement about Qatar’s treatment of the migrant workers that have built the country’s World Cup stadiums.”
Denmark, whose World Cup squad is likely to feature names such as Simon Kjær, Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel, is to play in Group D alongside France, Australia and Tunisia.
The Qatar World Cup, the first to be held in winter due to the high temperatures in the Middle East nation, is to kick off on November 20 with a tie between the hosts and Ecuador.EFE