The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to take place in Qatar, making the peninsular Arabian country the first in the Middle East to host international football's apex tournament. The tournament will kick off on November 20 with the host Qatar taking on Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
With 52 days left for the mega event to commence, many kit manufacturers like Nike, Adidas and Puma have started unveiling the home and away jerseys that will be worn by players during the tournament.
Hummel, the Danish kit manufacturer unveiled the jersey of Denmark's national football team and the kits were quick to become an internet sensation. Hummel has faded the logo and Denmark's crest that blends with the base colour of the kit, as an act of protest against Qatar as a host for the FIFA World Cup.
Here's a look at why the kit makers and the Danish national team are protesting against Qatar.
Bribery And Allegations
After FIFA announced Qatar as the host of the 2022 World Cup, many countries, footballing bodies and even NGOs were quick to point out Qatar's poor human rights record.
The US Department of Justice had alleged that the handover of World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar reflect the corruption inside FIFA's governing body. It hinted voting rights were bought and bribes were given for Qatar to have won the hosting rights.
But the Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy denied the allegations.
New in on World Cup bribery: "Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) strongly denies the allegations contained within the court papers made public in the US."— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) April 7, 2020
That's from the Qatari body organising the World Cup rather than the State denyinghttps://t.co/ig0RuYSH0p
Human Rights Violation
Several global human rights organisations have alleged that migrant workers in Qatar face terrible work environments in the county. Human Rights Watch published an article in March 2022, saying FIFA, football players and the press must question the country's human rights violations "particularly the rights of migrant workers, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people".
According to Amnesty International, Qatar has exploited and abused the millions of migrant workers coming from Asia and Africa, who have been the backbone of making the 2022 FIFA World Cup a possibility.
The Qatari government refused the findings made by the Amnesty International report. The country also denied the allegations by Human Rights Watch as well. More than 30,000 foreign labourers were hired to build the stadiums, as said by the Qatari government. Most of these labourers come from countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines.
From the stadiums to roads, a metro system for transportation and even a new airport, the migrant workers have slogged for years to make Qatar capable of hosting the World Cup. But in return, many of them were left unpaid, unlike their promised contracts.
The workers who protested regarding unpaid wages were deported by the government.
The 'Kafala' System
Qatar's Kafala system has been a catalyst for the degrading migrant crisis that is now facing staunch protests from many international organisations, players and even countries like Denmark.
The Kafala system is a sponsorship-based employment system that binds foreign labourers to their employers. These employers get to control the immigration status of the workers. Therefore, many of these migrant employers abused the system.
The Amnesty International report also highlights how migrant labourers could not change jobs or even leave Qatar without permission granted by the employer, ensuring a trap for migrant workers in an abusive environment. Workers were not allowed to form trade unions and the employers failed to enforce labour laws.
This series of human rights violations by Qatar saw protests in various forms with Denmark's World Cup kit by Hummel being the latest addition.
Denmark's 'Protest Kit'
Back in November 2021, the Danish Football Union, Denmark's footballing body promised that the players will wear clothes with "critical messages" during the World Cup in Qatar. Although, FIFA's World Cup rules prohibit the expression of political statements on team uniforms.
Following the promise made by the DFU, Hummel released Denmark's 'protest kit' for the World Cup. The Hummel logo and the Danish football crest in the jersey were faded into the same single colour as a mark of protest.
Along with the red one, Hummel also unveiled Denmark's black-coloured away kit, titled "The Colour of Mourning".