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Qatar issues furious response to Denmark's non-branded 'protest' kits for World Cup

Rory O'Callaghan

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Qatar issues furious response to Denmark's non-branded 'protest' kits for World Cup

Qatar's World Cup organising committee has issued a furious response to the release of Denmark's toned-down 'protest' kits for the tournament.

Hummel, the Danish football team's kit supplier, unveiled the team's kits on Wednesday.

Both the home and away strips have been 'toned down' so that the Danish Football Association (DBU) crest is barely visible, as is the Hummel logo and its iconic white chevrons.

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Hummel also released a black third-choice design which is described as the "colour of mourning", to honour migrant workers who died while constructing stadiums for the tournament.

"With the Danish national team's new jerseys, we wanted to send a dual message. They are not only inspired by Euro 92, paying tribute to Denmark's greatest football success, but also a protest against Qatar and its human rights record," read a statement on Hummel's Instagram account.

"That's why we've toned down all the details for Denmark's new World Cup jerseys, including our logo and iconic chevrons. We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.

"We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn't the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation. We believe that sport should bring people together. And when it doesn't, we want to make a statement."

In November, the DBU promised its team would wear clothing with "critical messages" at the World Cup in Qatar, despite FIFA's strict rules prohibiting any form of political statement on team kits.

Qatar's human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers have been widely criticised since the country was awarded the right to host the tournament, which begins in November 20.

According to The Guardian, more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it was announced as host nation 12 years ago, with at least 37 deaths directly linked to the construction of stadiums for the tournament.

However, Qatar claim that only three labourers died in work-related accidents during construction work for World Cup.

The tournament's organising group, the Qatar Supreme Committee (QSC), has now issued a furious response to Denmark's kit release - rejecting Hummel's claim that thousands of workers have died in connection with the tournament, while also accusing the manufacturer of "trivialising" the country's "genuine commitment" to worker safety.

"Since winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup, the SC has worked diligently alongside the Qatari government to ensure that the tournament delivers a lasting social legacy," read a statement. 

"For that reason, we dispute Hummel's claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives. Furthermore, we whole-heartedly reject the trivialising our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.

"That same commitment now extends to 150,000 workers across various tournament services and 40,000 workers in the hospitality sector.

Qatar has faced criticism for its human rights record and treatment of migrant workers (Image: Alamy)
Qatar has faced criticism for its human rights record and treatment of migrant workers (Image: Alamy)

"The onus should always be on countries to do more to protect the rights of peoples all over the world, including in Denmark. The SC's work is recognised by numerous entities within the international human rights community as a model that has accelerated progress and improved lives.

"Qatar's reforms are acknowledged by the ILO and ITUC as a benchmark in the region. Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.

"We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the SC, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Instagram/Hummelsport

Topics: Denmark, Football, Football World Cup, Qatar

Rory O'Callaghan
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