GIBRALTAR: Norway’s players wore T-shirts bearing the message ‘Human rights on and off the pitch’ before their 2022 World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar.
The gesture was in support of protests about the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar which will host the finals in November and December next year.
Last month, a report in The Guardian alleged that 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded in 2010. The issue was ramped up by Amnesty International earlier in a week which is seeing the start of European qualifying matches.
In June the Norwegian federation will stage a conference to consider a push by several clubs to boycott the World Cup. In those circumstances it would appear the matter is already decided since the NFF went ahead with their opening qualifying match.
Captain Martin Odegaard had said before the game that the players were planning to do something to show their feelings. The players had also worn T-shirts proclaiming: ‘Respect on and off the pitch’ as they warmed up in Marbella.
Qatari authorities have insisted that significant changes and improvements have been undertaken since the hosting award in 2010.
However, an Amnesty International statement on Monday called on world federation FIFA “to use its leverage with the Qatari authorities to help end the abuse of migrant workers. ”
Amnesty called on FIFA to “live up to its responsibilities to prevent, mitigate and remedy human rights risks connected to the tournament, and to use the full extent of its influence” to urge Qatar to fulfil its programme of labour reforms before the World Cup finals kick off.