DIn an open letter to DFB President Bernd Neuendorf, the “#boycottQatar2022” initiative called for the German Football Association to use its prize money at the World Cup in Qatar for migrant workers and their families.
If the world football association FIFA refuses to set up a compensation fund, “we expect the DFB to use its prize money (between 9 and 42 million dollars depending on the placement) independently for compensation payments,” says the letter published on the initiative’s website . “The DFB national players should donate any prize money for the same purpose.”
In addition to other human rights violations, World Cup host Qatar has been criticized for its treatment of foreign workers, which is considered inhumane. Scores of workers have died while building the stadiums for the tournament, which begins on November 20.
The DFB had already announced that it would participate in a fund. The signers of the letter include numerous fan initiatives and groups, but also other organizations such as the Dachau concentration camp memorial.
England ‘very clear on human rights issues’
England’s national soccer coach Gareth Southgate assumes that there will also be numerous topics outside of sport during the World Cup in Qatar. Asked about FIFA’s letter to the 32 participants saying the tournament would be about football, Southgate said he thought it was “highly unlikely”. A total of ten national associations – including the English and the German – responded publicly and jointly to the letter to continue to support “impulses for positive, progressive change”.
“We always talked about what needed to be talked about. We are very clear on human rights issues,” said the 52-year-old. Of course, Southgate and his pros around Captain Harry Kane would most like to talk about football at the World Cup. “It’s the carnival of football, you’ve worked your whole sporting life for it. It’s not meant to be destroyed, but we’re in this situation and we have to face it,” Southgate said.
Amnesty criticizes Infantino
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has renewed calls for a compensation fund for migrant workers and has sharply criticized FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “Amid this growing outcry, the most important voice of all has been conspicuously silent: that of Gianni Infantino,” Amnesty Secretary-General Agnes Callamard wrote in the French newspaper Le Monde.
Despite “private and public assurances” from the world association that it would examine the proposal, Infantino “apart from a few platitudes, repeatedly avoided the question,” criticized the human rights activist in her guest article on Friday. The FIFA boss “still hasn’t replied to our joint letter”.
Amnesty, along with Human Rights Watch and others, is demanding compensation from Qatar and the world governing body for workers who died, were injured or were exploited during the construction of the World Cup stadium (November 20-December 18).
Associations such as the German Football Association (DFB) also spoke out in favor of it. Qatari Labor Minister Ali bin Samikh Al Marri recently called the demands a “publicity stunt” in an interview with the AFP news agency.
In a recent letter, Infantino asked the World Cup participants to concentrate on football at the tournament in Qatar and to refrain from “moral lessons”. Callamard criticized this as a “blatant attempt to suppress FIFA’s guilt for these abuses and its responsibility towards these workers”.
“All we are asking at this point is an unbreakable commitment from FIFA that workers who have been abused will be compensated and that programs to prevent further abuse will be funded,” Callamard wrote. “A stroke of the pen by Gianni Infantino would suffice”.