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Page Standard

15 Nov 2021

Football associations

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National football associations will play a central role at the Qatar 2022 World Cup and, consequently, have considerable power and influence to affect change in the country. Football is increasingly alive to human rights issues, as demonstrated by the Black Lives Matter movement and the Premier League's #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. We have been closely following what steps teams have taken and what statements they have made regarding the human rights situation in Qatar, particularly the regards to the plight of migrant workers.

Following a report in the Guardian in February 2021, which found 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.

Following this, in December 2021, we invited the 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 provided a response.

We asked FAs of 31 qualifying teams about steps taken to protect human rights as the countdown for the next World Cup begins, only half responded. Find out more here

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

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

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.


The truth behind Qatar’s luxury hotels hosting World Cup teams

Workers in Qatar's luxury hotels have faced a range of human rights abuses - and many of the football teams playing in the FIFA World Cup 2022 are calling these hotels home during the tournament.