Welsh FA joins pledge to press for change in Qatar
The Welsh Football Association has joined England and eight others in vowing to use the upcoming World Cup in Qatar to keep advocating for human rights and for migrant workers to be supported.
In a joint letter published today the 10 national governing bodies, all members of the UEFA working group on human and labour rights, said they would continue to push FIFA to uphold promises made in relation to the World Cup which begins in two weeks’ time.
The letter was signed by Welsh FA boss Noel Mooney and FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, along with their counterparts from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.
It comes after it was reported earlier this week that FIFA had written to nations participating in the World Cup urging them to “focus on the football” amid the ongoing debate over Qatar’s human rights record and the treatment of migrant workers who have helped build the tournament infrastructure.
The letter from the 10 European associations acknowledges that “significant progress has been made by Qatar” in respect of the rights of migrant workers and that assurances have been made on the “safety, security and inclusion of all fans who travel to the World Cup, including LGBTQ+ fans”.
But it adds: “Embracing diversity and tolerance also means supporting human rights. Human rights are universal and they apply everywhere.
“We will continue to support the momentum for positive, progressive change and continue to advocate for a conclusive outcome and update on the two key outstanding issues we have been discussing with FIFA for a long time.
“FIFA has repeatedly committed to deliver concrete answers on these issues – the compensation fund for migrant workers, and the concept of a migrant workers centre to be created in Doha – and we will continue to press for these to be delivered.
“We believe in the power of football to make further positive and credible contributions to progressive sustainable change in the world.”
On Friday, Sky Sports reported that FIFA president Gianni Infantino and secretary general Fatma Samoura wrote to all 32 participating nations, urging them: “Please, let’s now focus on the football!
“We know football does not live in a vacuum and we are equally aware that there are many challenges and difficulties of a political nature all around the world.
“But please do not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.”
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Instead of this virtue signalling if the Welsh FA really cared about human rights the Welsh team wouldn’t go to the World Cup. Actions speak louder than words.
As a small nation without a pot to p*ss in, we should keep our heads down and not poke our nose into other peoples affairs. If/when we are UN members, we may press a button now and then. Both feet on the ground, please.