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England World Cup sponsors are under pressure to take a stand against Qatar’s human rights record

‘It’s a watershed moment’: England World Cup kit sponsors Nike are under growing pressure to take a stand against Qatar’s human rights record… after Denmark’s sponsor Hummel camouflaged their logo in protest against the host nation

  • England’s shirt manufacturers Nike are under growing pressure to take a stand 
  • Denmark’s sponsor Hummel camouflaged their distinctive logo on the Danish kit
  • They claimed it was in order to protest against Qatar’s human rights record 
  • Individual companies will decide whether they want reduced visibility in Qatar
  • Click here for all the latest World Cup 2022 news and updates

England sponsors are under growing pressure to take a stand against the human rights controversies overshadowing Qatar 2022 after Denmark’s kit manufacturers said they ‘don’t wish to be visible during a tournament.’

Sportswear firm Hummel yesterday released a monochrome kit, which effectively camouflages their distinctive logo, for the World Cup in protest against the host country, whose human rights record has been under huge scrutiny in the build-up to the tournament.

Other companies are now being tipped to follow suit; with their decision described a ‘watershed’ moment yesterday.

Nike are coming under increasing pressure to follow Hummel’s suit in making a stand

Denmark unveiled a monochrome World Cup kit in protest against Qatar's human rights record

Denmark unveiled a monochrome World Cup kit in protest against Qatar’s human rights record

However, it is unlikely that England’s kit sponsors Nike will take similar action. The fact the sportswear giants have contracts with multiple teams participating in the tournament makes it complicated for Nike to take a similar stance as Hummel.

Denmark are the only team who have Hummel as a kit manufacturer at the World Cup.

Speaking to Sportsmail Ben Peppi, a sports commercial expert at JMW Solicitors, said Hummel’s stance puts significant pressure on other companies to follow suit.

‘This is a watershed moment for the World Cup, a clear on the field visible stance – it’s a very powerful PR message from Hummel that definitely puts pressure on others to follow suit,’ said Peppi.

‘This won’t be the last company to do this – it’s a huge stand against FIFA.’

It now remains to be seen whether the official partners of the England team and Football Association make similar statements in the lead up to the tournament.

Denmark's third kit for the tournament is an all-black jersey showing the 'colour of mourning'

Denmark’s third kit for the tournament is an all-black jersey showing the ‘colour of mourning’

The FA and England are sponsored by some of the world’s most recognisable brands: Barclays, Disney, EE, Coca Cola, PayPal and M&S all listed on the governing body’s website as official sponsors.

However, it will be down to each individual company to decided whether they want to reduce their visibility around the World Cup due to the inhumanity linked to the Qatari bid.

Indeed, the drive to attract lucrative sponsorship deals for national federations such at the FA is said to be becoming increasingly difficult with brands now fully aware of the potential for bad publicity given the negative publicity that has surrounded the World Cup.

Kit supplier Hummel released a statement saying it is a 'protest' against the host country

Kit supplier Hummel released a statement saying it is a ‘protest’ against the host country

‘This will have a trickle down effect on sponsors. More due diligence is being completed by companies looking at partnerships within football,’ added Peppi.

‘If future tournaments are hosted by countries that could bring the potential for bad PR then that will be a major consideration. What Hummel has done 100 percent adds pressure on companies.’

A Hummel statement on Instagram read: ‘With the Danish national team’s new jerseys, we wanted to send a dual message. 

After Denmark sealed qualification for the World Cup, the country's FA said they were instituting a series of measures to shine a spotlight on human rights issues in Qatar

After Denmark sealed qualification for the World Cup, the country’s FA said they were instituting a series of measures to shine a spotlight on human rights issues in Qatar

‘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.

‘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 sport should bring people together. And when it doesn’t, we want to make a statement.’



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