Canadian soccer addresses labor rights issue, inclusion in World Cup host Qatar 

Canadian soccer addresses labor rights issue, inclusion in World Cup host Qatar 

Canadian Soccer on Friday added its voice to the push for greater labor rights and inclusion in Qatar as the country prepares to host the FIFA World Cup next month.

The gas-rich emirate has come under fire over the past decade for its treatment of migrant workers, many of them from South Asia, who spend billions of dollars on stadiums, transport and hotels ahead of the 32-nation men’s soccer showdown. needed to be built.

“Canadian Soccer supports the continued pursuit of further progress on labor rights and inclusion as Qatar prepares to host the World Cup,” Canadian Soccer said in a statement. “FIFA itself has acknowledged these important issues and is discussing them with member associations and stakeholders.

“While progress has been made in terms of worker safety through the Qatari government’s labor reforms, we encourage all stakeholders to continue dialogue to ensure these reforms are implemented throughout the country during the FIFA World Cup. 2022.

“We believe that the legacy of this tournament should inspire and encourage further developments in this field, not only in Qatar but throughout the region.”

Soccer Canada general secretary Earl Cochrane noted Canada’s “international reputation as a country that stands up for human rights.”

“And we have a very strong track record as leaders here. And so we thought it was important for us, at the right time, to share that position not only with Canadians but at the same time with an international audience, He said in an interview.

Canada’s comments come two days after the Australian team released a short but powerful video featuring its players highlighting Qatar’s human rights record as a legacy of the World Cup stage. Calls for reform.

“The tournament is associated with suffering for a number of migrant workers and their families and this cannot be ignored,” Football Australia said in a statement.

Football Australia said the video follows nearly two years of consultation between Football, the players’ union and Football Australia with a number of international organisations, including Amnesty International, FIFA and FIFPRO, the international players’ organisation.

Canada Soccer said they met with the Canadian Embassy in Qatar in April, July and September of this year, in addition to hearing meetings and presentations from both the International Labor Organization and Amnesty International.

A Canadian Soccer statement said: “Through our ongoing discussions in recent months, it is our understanding that Qatar’s legal reforms, if fully implemented, have the potential to have a real impact and benefit workers across the country. rights to promote security.” “We encourage all stakeholders to continue their efforts to implement the latest labor reforms and continue to address and address past labor violations.”

Canadian Soccer says it has “made a conscious decision to engage and partner only with local vendors in Qatar, whose shared values ​​and principles align with our shared Canadian values.”

Cochrane said that includes discussions with businesses that provide accommodation for celebrity friends and family and those that help with branding for Canada House.

Canada Soccer will also “provide cultural awareness to our players and staff, friends and family and corporate partners ahead of their trip to Qatar in the coming days,” the statement said.

A number of European World Cup teams have said their captains will wear armbands with a heart-shaped, multi-coloured design at matches to support the ‘One Love’ campaign against discrimination.

“I think that’s one of the things that will probably be left up to the team to make that decision,” Cochrane said when asked if Canada might pursue it. “And that might come up in some of the conversations that we have in some of the educational areas that we provide.”

While same-sex acts are illegal in Qatar, the country says LGBTQ+ lovers will not face arrest.

Cochran said the ongoing internal debate and investigation into the issues in Qatar has prompted his organization to look inward, “asking ourselves, are we doing enough domestically?” Defending the things we’re talking about.”

This means making changes back home, including meaningful discussions with the LGBTQ+ community and local populations.

Cochrane pointed to Canadian Soccer’s ongoing labor debate, pointing to a push for pay equity with men’s and women’s teams.

Qatar has repeatedly backtracked and said the country had improved protections for migrant workers, dismissing the criticism as outdated.

Qatar’s ruling emir this week slammed his country for what he described as an “unprecedented campaign” aimed at targeting the first Arab country.

On Friday, Qatar summoned the German ambassador over comments by Germany’s interior minister, who criticized the decision to award the tournament to the Gulf Arab nation because of its human rights record.

– With files from The Associated Press

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