The Canadian Football Association decided to join the campaign on Friday calling for more rights for workers and the LGBTQ community in Qatar, as the country prepares to host the World Cup in late November. “Canada Soccer supports continued pursuit of further progress on workers’ rights and inclusion“, the organization said in a statement, adding that “FIFA itself has recognized these important issues“.
Although it recognizes that progress has been made, the federation wants “ensure that these reforms lead to tangible improvements“, going beyond the competition.”We believe that one of the legacies of this tournament should be to inspire and encourage further improvements in this area, not only in Qatar, but across the region.“, underlines the Canadian federation.
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In reaction, the Qatar World Cup organizing committee defended an event “that contributes to a legacy of progress, best practices and improved lives“. He also insisted on the reforms relating to labor law and safety on the construction sites of the Mondial-2022. “New laws and reforms are often slow to take hold and strong labor law enforcement is a global challenge“, added a spokesperson to AFP.
Australia, the first qualified team to criticize
Ever since FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010, the first Arab country to host a World Cup, it has come under fire over its treatment of foreign workers, the LGBTQ community and women. The wealthy Gulf state, which has spent tens of billions of dollars to host the tournament from November 20 to December 18, has expressed growing anger over the attacks.
In particular, he claims to have carried out numerous reforms in recent years and his emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, rose up this week against the “fabrications and double standards“in what he described as a”unprecedented campaign” of criticism since the country obtained the World Cup. In its press release, the Canadian federation also underlines that since the qualification of its team in March, the second in its history, it met the representatives of the Canadian embassy in Doha on three occasions as well as the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Amnesty International.
At the end of these meetings, she believes that “Qatar’s legal reforms could have real impact” if they are fully implemented. By working with local suppliers who share its values and by raising awareness among its teams, it hopes to set an example for all its other partners. The Australian national team is the first qualified team to the competition to openly criticize Qatar for the lack of respect for human rights that accompanied the organization of the World Cup.
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