Australia is the first to issue a group statement critiquing Qatar’s poor human rights record.
16 players addressed the issue in a video. They included ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Ryan and Brighton goalkeeper Matt Ryan.
“There are universal values that should be used to define football. Ryan stated that values such as respect, dignity and trust, courage, are important.
“When we represent our country, we strive to embody these values.”
Since 2010, Qatar’s winter finals, Qatar has been criticised over its treatment of migrant workers and the criminalization of same-sex relationships.
The Socceroos video features several players including Bailey Wright, Jackson Irvine and Jamie Maclaren making a short statement.
While they acknowledged that the working conditions in the Gulf state have improved, they noted that reforms are still inconsistent and need to be improved.
In the last few years, the kafala system – that regulated the lives and allowed employers to confiscate workers’ passports and prevent them from leaving the country – has been partially dismantled.
“A legacy that transcends the last whistle”
Jackson Irvine, a midfielder, stated that “we have learned that the decision not to host the World Cup at Qatar has resulted… in the suffering and harm countless of our fellow employees.”
Wilkinson added that “these migrant workers who have been hurt are not just numbers.”
“Like the migrants who have shaped our country’s football and our country, they possess the same courage as us and the determination to create a better future.”
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The team stated that it was working with many organizations to “establish anenduring legacy in Qatar” as well as calling for Qatar to establish a migrant resource center.
It called for decriminalization of all same-sex relationships, and for “effective remedy” to those who were denied their rights to improve the country’s situation.
The team stated that these are basic rights and will ensure Qatar’s continued progress.
“This is how you can make sure a legacy that lasts beyond the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
Is that the message? ‘
Australian Josh Cavallo plays for Adelaide United, and is one of the most prominent footballers to declare he is gay.
An ex-england striker Gary Lineker stated that he knew two gay Premier League players. He hopes they will be out during the World Cup in Qatar to send a strong message.
Lineker was one the main figures in criticisms of Foreign Secretary James Cleverly Wednesday after he suggested that LGBT football fans traveling to the country should “respect the host nation”.
Before Downing Street pulled away from Cleverly’s comments, Mr Cleverly encouraged fans to show “a bit of flexibility and compromise” as well as to respect the culture of their host country.
Lineker said: “Whatever your do, don’t do anything homosexual.” Is that the message?
In Group D, Australia will face the defending champions France and Denmark.