Thursday, December 8

Brussels asks Qatar to advance human rights “beyond the glamour” of the World Cup

A questioned World Cup. For some, such as the European Commission, it represents “a good opportunity to talk about human rights in Qatar”, although the Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, who has participated in the debate in plenary session of the European Parliament, has stated that “Qatar it has improved, it has dismantled the kafala system, which made migrants dependent on their employers, and it has passed a law against wage discrimination.”

However, he continued: “The path of human rights in Qatar has not ended, it is a path that continues, there are pending challenges. The EU has approved a gender equality strategy, we are not going to sacrifice principles or values, we must embrace diversity. Every life lost, every death, is a tragedy. I want to stress that the EU will closely follow the evolution of human rights in Qatar. We ask the Government to go beyond the glamor of this sporting event, and beyond the final on December 18.

According to some information, up to 6,500 people have died in the construction of the World Cup, although Kyriakides has said that the ILO speaks of 50 people dead and 500 injured in the construction of the stadiums: “It is important that we continue working to address the challenges slopes. Qatar has an opportunity to show that it wants to continue on the path of opening up and modernization.”

The Socialist MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar, stated in the Strasbourg plenary session: “This Parliament cannot review FIFA’s decision; nor that any relationship with a third country requires the same standards. But it does mean that the cooperative relationship is linked to tangible progress. And this is the meaning of this debate”.

The co-president of the Greens in the European Parliament, Ernest Urtasun (En Comú Podem), said during the debate: “They have stolen the dream of the World Cup from millions of fans. A venue that has cost up to 6,500 deaths, a very high climate cost and footballers playing in heated stadiums. And we see FIFA prohibiting demonstrations of solidarity with LGTBI groups. We demand that FIFA be asked to let the footballers demonstrate and that there be a compensation fund for those killed in the construction of the venue.”

The Anticapitalistas MEP, Miguel Urbán, for his part, has harshly criticized the venue for the World Cup: “It is another example of how large events are used to wash the face of authoritarian regimes, to send the message that money is above human rights. It is a World Cup stained with blood, while FIFA and its corruption carry their pockets and LGTBI bracelets are banned. If we can’t avoid it, boycott the World Cup in Qatar.”

Ana Miranda, MEP of the BNG, has stated: “FIFA has scored the goal of money and corruption. We do care about the rights of workers and LGTBI people. Sport is more than money, we don’t like to have a relationship with a homophobic, sexist and slave-owning country”.

The Pole Tomasz Frankowski, from the European People’s Party, agreed with the commissioner on the reforms that “have already taken place”, and pointed out that “guarantees” are needed that the efforts will continue after the World Cup: “I hope that the world of politics and the world of sport can draw conclusions and that the next events are held in full respect of human rights”, he pointed out.

“This Sunday the World Cup began, but we can already say that shame has won,” criticized the co-spokesperson of the Left, Manon Aubry (France Insoumise).

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