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15 Nov 2021

Football Associations

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fifg, Shutterstock (purchased)

National Football Associations will play the central role at the Qatar 2022 World Cup and consequently have considerable power and influence to effect change in the country. Football is increasingly alive to human rights issues as demonstrated by the Black Lives Matter movement, and Premier League #NoRoomForRacism and Rainbow Laces campaigns: all eyes will be on teams and players ahead of and during the tournament.

Football Associations have a duty to carry out human rights due diligence and we will be following closely what steps teams take and what statements they make regarding the human rights situation in Qatar and particularly the plight of migrant workers.

Following reporting in the Guardian in February 2021 which found that more than 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded, national football associations in Europe came under pressure to boycott the tournament. In March 2021 we invited the Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, German and English football associations to respond to these calls – see more on this story here. Later on in December 2021 we invited associations of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland teams to respond to questions on their human rights due diligence processes as qualifying teams. Only six of the 12 Football Associations have provided response – the questions alongside the responses and non-responses can be viewed here, and our analysis here.

Explore the human rights records of the national and regional football associations that we currently have pages for:

Qualifying for the 2022 Qatar World Cup is currently ongoing, and this page will be updated as teams qualify.

Benny Marty, Shutterstock (purchased)

Blog: Football associations failing to engage with human rights risks of the tournament

With well-documented abuses of human rights in the 2022 World Cup's host Qatar, FAs are put under the spotlight as our research shows lack of robust measures to tackle their responsibility of addressing these abuses and making a lasting difference.

Benny Marty, Shutterstock (purchased)

Outreach to national football associations on human rights risk assessments & due diligence

We asked FAs of 12 qualifying teams about steps taken to protect human rights as the countdown for the next World Cup begins, only half responded.