Real Madrid and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos says it is ‘wrong’ for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup due to their human rights record… but insists boycotting next year’s tournament would NOT be the best thing to do
- Germany have taken a stand to highlight the human rights record of Qatar
- Toni Kroos is out of the Germany setup at present because of an injury
- The Real Madrid man doesn’t believe a boycott in 2022 is the answer
Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has questioned why Qatar was awarded hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup but has dismissed the idea of a boycott to highlight the treatment of immigrant workers.
A report released last month by the Guardian revealed how 6,500 migrant workers have died since Qatar was awarded World Cup host status. Qatar is building an array of infrastructure to host the tournament, scheduled to begin on November 21 next year.
Players of Germany, Norway and Holland have taken a stand during the latest round of international fixtures by speaking out at press conferences, standing arm-in-arm and wearing t-shirts displaying powerful slogans.
Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has spoken out on the debate surrounding Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup amid their human rights record
The build-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been marred by migrant worker deaths
Germany sported powerful jerseys which spelled out ‘HUMAN RIGHTS’ in their own protest
Kroos is not part of the current Germany setup because of injury but was quizzed over his views on his brother’s podcast.
‘I think it’s wrong that this tournament was given to Qatar,’ Kroos said.
‘Immigrant workers are subjected to days without rest with the temperature under a torrid 50 degrees, they suffer from insufficient nutrition, without drinking water and at crazy temperatures. All of these points are absolutely unacceptable.’
But the playmaker does not think boycotting the tournament next year would be the correct response.
‘Would a boycott serve to improve working conditions? I think not,’ Kroos said. ‘Football always arouses extreme attention. Be it before the tournament or during it.’
Since 2017, Qatar has introduced several reforms aimed at benefiting migrant workers, including the removal of the Kalafa system, which tied workers to their employer meaning they could not leave their job regardless of abuses they suffered.
And in 2019, FIFA developed a sustainability strategy for the tournament, which ‘set out the ambitious plans to maximise the tournament’s contribution to people’s well-being, economic development’.
But Amnesty among other rights groups insist the reforms have not been properly implemented and ‘thousands of migrant workers continue to be exploited’.
FIFA used its annual report earlier this month to hail progress made on workers’ rights.
Norway’s t-shirts asked ‘next?’ after several nations joined them in protesting against the issue
Qatar World Cup will be one of the most compact ever with all stadiums in a 35-mile radius
‘Since the FIFA World Cup 2022 was awarded to Qatar, there has been a major collective effort from the local authorities, our partner the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy [a government body] and the International Labour Organisation to bring about positive change,’ said Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President.
‘And we are really pleased to see that this has materialised into concrete major progress in the area of workers’ rights.’
Germany’s World Cup qualifying campaign resumes on Wednesday evening when they play North Macedonia.