Denmark will be banned from wearing a training kit at the World Cup in Qatar that bears the message ‘human rights for all’.
It’s the latest crackdown on ‘politically motivated’ messaging by FIFA, who have instructed the 32 teams contesting the controversial tournament in Qatar to kindly concentrate on the football.
The Danish Football Association (DBU), who greenlit the training shirt, confirmed that the governing body had prohibited them from the protest. Jakob Jensen, their chief executive, revealed that FIFA had told them the ban was due to ‘technical reasons’, stating:
“We have today got a message from FIFA that the training shirts our players were to train in, where it would say ‘human rights for all’ at the stomach [of the shirt], have been rejected due to technical reasons, which is regrettable.”
FIFA’s rules state that any team ‘equipment’ must not broadcast any political, religious or personal statements, which has come in very useful for the under-fire governing body lately given the criticism thrown at them for choosing Qatar as a World Cup host.
The Middle Eastern country is facing scrutiny over the number of alleged deaths suffered by migrant workers tasked with constructing the new sporting infrastructure. Qatari officials continue to deny that as many as 6,500 people have lost their lives while building stadiums, roads and hotels in searing heat and without adequate safety measures in place.
Qatar’s prehistoric rules on the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community have also led to many questioning why FIFA would hand the keys to the most iconic football tournament in history to them.
They have made repeated calls to the nations competing for the Jules Rimet trophy not to politicise the tournament, although those please have somewhat fallen on deaf ears….
England have confirmed that they will allow Harry Kane to join his fellow captains from Wales, France and Belgium in wearing a OneLove armband.
The message behind the armband is that football is a game for all, and FIFA are unlikely to be happy that their demand for a complete absence of ideology in Qatar will be overlooked.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has also reiterated his belief that England’s players and coaches should be allowed to protest peacefully.
“Frankly, I’ll choose if I’m going to speak or not, and I’m pretty sure the players will as well” he said.
“So I don’t think we’re necessarily going to be swayed by that communication [from FIFA].
“We have always spoken about issues we think should be talked about, particularly the ones we feel we can affect.”
England will be in good company if they voice their opinions in Qatar. The Danish kit manufacturer Hummel have protested against the tournament by producing plain, monochrome kits for their national team with no branding, as well as a third kit in black as the ‘colour of mourning’.
Meanwhile a silent protest will be held in France, with officials in Paris refusing to allow the normal ‘fan zone’ entertainment to be hosted in the city.