Eight European countries will participate in the diversity campaign during the World Cup in Qatar

All countries except Sweden and Norway have qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and each captain of these eight nations will wear a distinctive OneLove bracelet – which features a heart containing colors from all backgrounds – during the tournament.

The FA of the Netherlands, which is leading the campaign, has chosen the colors to represent all heritages, origins, genders and sexual identities; the bracelet will be worn in Qatar where same-sex relationships are a criminal offense.

Sweden and Norway will participate in the initiative during the upcoming Nations League matches, while England will also wear black armbands during both UEFA Nations League matches on the occasion of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

“This is an important message that fits into the game of football: on the pitch everyone is equal and it should be like that everywhere in society. With the OneLove band we express this message,” said Virgil van Dijk, captain of the Netherlands.

“On behalf of the Dutch team I have been wearing this headband for some time now. It is good to see other countries joining this initiative.”

England captain Harry Kane wears the OneLove bracelet.

OneLove was founded in the Netherlands in 2020 to emphasize that all football fans have at least one thing in common: a love of football, and to denounce any form of discrimination.

In addition to focusing on public messaging, the initiative has also developed to offer diversity training to the grassroots club.

“Our love for football unites us all. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like and who you love. Football is there for everyone and our sport must stand up for people around the world who face discrimination and exclusion,” he said. affirmed Germany captain Manuel Neuer.

“I am proud to send this message to my colleagues from the other national teams. Every single voice counts.”

Harry Kane reveals discussions on the collective stance on human rights in Qatar

In June, England captain Harry Kane revealed that he had discussed taking a collective stance on human rights in Qatar with Denmark’s Christian Eriksen and France captain Hugo Lloris.

“I am honored to join my national team captains in supporting the important OneLove campaign,” he said Tuesday.

“As captains we could all compete against each other on the pitch, but we stand united against all forms of discrimination. This is even more relevant at a time when division is common in society. Wearing the sash together on behalf of our teams will send a clear message when the world is watching. ”

‘We continue to push for the principle of compensation’

The idea for this specific campaign was born as part of the initiative of the UEFA Working Group, which was set up to answer questions relating to Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and the LGBTQ + community.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in Qatar and punishable by up to three years in prison, while the Guardian reported last year that 6,500 migrant workers had died in the country in the ten years following Qatar’s successful bid to host the tournament. in 2010, most of which were involved in low-wage and dangerous jobs, often undertaken in extreme heat.
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The report – “categorically denied” by tournament organizer CEO Nasser Al Khater – did not connect all 6,500 deaths with World Cup infrastructure projects and has not been independently verified by CNN.

In an interview with CNN last year, Al Khater also highlighted the recent reforms Qatar has made to its work structure.

“We continue to push for the principle of compensation for the families of migrant workers who have lost their lives or been injured in construction projects,” said FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham.

“Together with the other members of the UEFA Human Rights Working Group, we are pushing FIFA for an update on the concept of the Migrant Workers Center in Qatar, to provide advice and help to migrant workers. It is clear that Qatar has brought in the legislation progressive in recent years to give workers rights, so this concept will help this legislation come into force. “