FIFA World Cup: ‘There are no plans’ for Ottawa to appoint a head amid Qatar’s rights issue – National

Ottawa has “no plans” to send a dignitaries to World Football Championship In Qatar as calls grow for participating countries to take a stand on human rights issues in the host country.

Male 2022 World CupThe first tournament to be held in the Arab world, which will open on November 20, the tournament, traditionally held in June and July, has been moved to avoid having to compete in the intense heat. harshness of the Middle East.

Canada will participate in the prestigious tournament for the first time in 36 years after qualifying earlier this year. However, the Canadians will play in a tournament that has been fraught with controversy since 2010, when Qatar was announced as the host.

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Allegations of mistreatment of migrant workers building infrastructure for the World Cup have been raised for years, and recently, Qatar’s record on LGBTQ2 rights has been questioned.

Ottawa, did a diplomatic boycott for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Regarding China’s poor record on human rights, Global News told Global News that there are no plans yet for a federal dignitaries to attend the World Cup.

“The Government of Canada is proud of the fact that the Canada men’s national football team has qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” a Heritage Canada spokesperson told Global News on October 21.

“Their qualifying is a historic event in itself and all Canadians are looking forward to cheering them on in November. So far, there are no plans for a dignitaries to attend the event.”

Federal diplomatic mission’s absence ‘didn’t go far enough’

The spokesperson did not elaborate on why plans had not yet been made for a World Cup dignitaries and referred Global News on Thursday to another department when asked.

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Many requests have questioned whether the decision so far not to appoint an dignitaries related to Qatar’s human rights record has not been paid for by Global Affairs Canada, Heritage Canada and the offices of the foreign and heritage ministers. at the time of publication or not.

People gather during the flag-raising ceremony of the new nations participating in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar’s capital, Doha, on March 30.

Karim Jaafar / AFP via Getty Images

Several states are still considering whether to send government officials to the World Cup.

On October 19, The Netherlands is allowed to have a government delegation despite a parliamentary vote calling on them not to do so out of concern about Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers.

Belgium, a country that Canada faces in the group match, is said to be planning to send a smaller delegation, but only if the country reaches the semi-finals, De Standaard October 24 report.

When Ottawa announced it would not send diplomats to the Beijing Winter Olympics, several Olympic athletes told Global News at the time the move was a sign of “evolution,” brought about previous boycotts at the 1984 and 1980 Olympics involving countries that banned athletes from participating.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on December 8, 2021: “We’ve been very clear over the years about our deep concerns around human rights abuses and this is a visible continuation. express our deep concern for human rights violations. announced a diplomatic boycott of Beijing.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau announces Canada to join diplomacy in boycotting Beijing Winter Olympics'

Trudeau announces Canada joins diplomacy in boycotting Beijing Winter Olympics

While the Olympics have the participation of hundreds of countries, the 2022 World Cup has only 32 countries that must qualify in continental competitions.

Although involving fewer countries, the FIFA World Cup is arguably the “biggest” sporting event in the world, says Michael Page, deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch ( HRW) said.

Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup has been fraught with controversy since it was named the host country 12 years ago. At the time, the country had a population of 350,000, which has since skyrocketed to 2.6 million as migrants work to build the infrastructure, like stadiums, needed for the tournament. .

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Among the allegations of ill-treatment of migrant workers, Page said thousands of people died on the job, had their wages stolen and in some cases had their passports held.

Click to play video: 'Migrant workers' rights to be noticed ahead of FIFA World Cup 2022'

Migrant workers’ rights get attention ahead of FIFA World Cup 2022

HRW and other human rights groups such as Amnesty International are urges participating nations to support calls for football’s international governing body, FIFA, to create a US$440 million remediation fund to compensate workers and improve worker protection.

Page wants the governments of Canada and Canada Soccer, the sport’s governing body in the country, to back these calls, saying a potential diplomatic absence similar to the Beijing Olympics “doesn’t go far enough.” .

“What we want is not for people to just take symbolic actions, we want people to support comprehensive policies that really…really give those who suffer the most… real getting paid what they owe to families who have lost loved ones who are migrant workers, to get compensation for people’s deaths,” he told Global News on Thursday.

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“I don’t have a personal position from either sending or not sending (diplomat); it’s an important thing that countries should consider, but in this case it really misses the mark that we want to promote something where migrant workers can have a material interest, because it is essential. “

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If government diplomats attend the World Cup, they should speak up about reported abuses, Page added.

“We want them to have a positive view of human rights around the world,” he said.

“If they don’t do that – it will be a disappointment.”

The Office of the Prime Minister and Canada Soccer did not return requests for comment prior to the time of publication.

Click to play video: 'Government diplomats must' speak out about these abuses 'if attending FIFA World Cup 2022: Human Rights Watch'

Government diplomats must ‘speak out about these abuses’ if attending FIFA World Cup 2022: Human Rights Watch

The United States Soccer Federation and six European federations are backing the call for a compensation fund. Alasdair Bell, FIFA’s deputy secretary-general, said the organization was ready to negotiate a remedy and fix.

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LGBTQ rights are also emphasized

Qatar’s ruling emir has called the criticism an “unprecedented campaign” against the first Arab country to host the tournament. Qatar has repeatedly pushed back, insisting it has improved protections for migrant workers and saying the criticism is outdated.

Furthermore, Qatar’s stance on LGTBQ2 rights has been opposed since the end of the year; Homosexual acts are illegal in the conservative Muslim country, and some soccer stars have raised concerns about the rights of fans to travel for the event.

Aerial view of Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium at sunset on June 23 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, designed by Pattern Design studio, is the venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar starting in November.

David Ramos / Getty Images

The country swore that LGTBQ2 fans would not face arrest, but Qatari security forces arbitrarily arrested and abused Qataris LGBTQ2 as recently as last month, HRW said on October 24.

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A Qatari official called HRW’s allegations “clear and unequivocal,” in a statement.

World Cup organizers say everyone is welcome, regardless of their sexual orientation or background, but that hasn’t stopped participating nations from speaking out.

Australia’s team came up with a three-minute video on social media on Wednesday demand real reform as a legacy of the Gulf country’s World Cup hosting process; Danish Player will wear a shirt designed to protest Qatar’s human rights record and its players going to the World Cup without their family as another form of protest.

Several major French cities, including Lille, Strasbourg and Bordeaux, will not host fan zones or place giant screens outdoors to display the game; eight of the 13 competitive European teams said in September they want their captain to wear armbands with multi-colored, heart-shaped designs in games to support the anti-discrimination “Common One Love” campaign.

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FIFA regulations forbid teams from bringing their own armband designs to the World Cup and insist they must use equipment provided by the governing body.

Click to play video: 'Canada returns to World Cup in less than a month!'

Canada returns to the World Cup in less than a month!

A government official, speaking on the platform, told Global News on Thursday that the players and Canada Soccer decide whether they take any similar measures.

As fans, Canadians have the ability to bring about change, Page said.

“We can push Canada, both the government and the football federation, to reflect our values ​​as we see them,” he said.

“In this case, it’s about supporting LGBT rights, fundamental rights in Qatar and speaking out about it, and they are promoting this remediation fund so… we can try to address some of the behavior. abuse makes us very uncomfortable as fans.”

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– with files from the Associated Press and Reuters


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