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“Participating does not mean turning a blind eye”: The FFF denies “supporting” the situation of migrants in Qatar



“Participating does not mean turning a blind eye and endorsing”reacted this Saturday, September 24 the French Football Federation (FFF), criticized by NGOs for its supposed wait-and-see attitude on the issue of migrant workers in Qatar, host country of the next World Cup.

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“Free to express themselves or not”the FFF and the French team “did not wait for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar to defend human rights on a daily basis, on the ground, and at their level, as well as other essential causes”says the Federation in a press release.

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A “deafening silence” from the Blues

In an open letter released on Friday, two days before Denmark-France in Copenhagen, Amnesty International regretted the “deafening silence” bruises “in the face of the thousands of migrant workers who died on Qatari construction sites, and the thousands of others subjected to forced labor”.

Conversely, the NGO pointed out that “The Danish team’s sponsors have decided to remove their logos from the players’ training shirts and replace them with a message supporting respect for human rights in Qatar”.

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The FFF assures that Amnesty is a “wonderful organization” but “Nevertheless deplores this campaign of stigmatization”. Concretely, the instance has “implemented various verification measures concerning the respect of social rights and the application of respectful working conditions at the base camp of the France team” in Qatar, it is written.

The confused defense of the FFF

As for the arrival of the French world champions in the emirate, the FFF summarizes its position: “Participating does not mean turning a blind eye and endorsing”. According to the Federation:

“However, the organization of this World Cup has enabled social progress in Qatar that even some NGOs recognize, including Amnesty International. Even if the reality on the ground is not perfect, this progress is undeniable and positive”

The question of the rights of migrant workers in Qatar has been regularly raised by NGOs since the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to the rich Gulf gas state in 2010.



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