The Hummel brand will "disappear" from the 2022 World Cup to be held in just two months in Qatar. The sports apparel firm, which outfits the Danish national soccer team, decided to remove its logo from the side's official uniform as a symbol of protest against the Qatari regime and the tournament's deadly working conditions.
"This shirt carries with it a message. We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives. We support the Danish national team all the way, but that's not the same as supporting Qatar as the host nation," the brand explained on social media.
This shirt carries with it a message.
We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.
We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn't the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation. pic.twitter.com/7bgMgK7WzS
- hummel (@hummel1923) September 28, 2022
"Commitment to protect the health and safety of workers"
The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee expressed its "commitment" to workers and rejected accusations of disregarding human rights:
We refute Hummel's claim that this tournament cost the lives of thousands of people. Furthermore, we wholeheartedly reject the trivialization of our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built the stadiums and other World Cup projects. That same commitment now extends to 150,000 workers in various tournament services and 40,000 workers in the hospitality industry.
The committee reiterated that it worked in conjunction with the Qatari regime to ensure that the tournament leaves a good legacy: "That legacy contributed to major reforms in the labor system, enacting laws protecting workers' rights and ensuring that their living conditions were improved."
6,500 workers killed
Ten years after the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) chose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, the Doha regime prepared to hold perhaps the most important sporting event on the planet.
According to a report in The Guardian, 6,500 non-Qatari workers have died building the stadiums and infrastructure needed for the tournament. Many of those dead were immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal.
The workers were subjected to harsh conditions, working at high altitudes and in high temperatures in full sun. According to the official record, the workers died of "natural death" (cardiac or respiratory failure), injuries from falls to great heights and asphyxiation. On the other hand, of the total number of deaths for those of Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepalese origin, 7% were due to suicide.
Not the first voice against Qatar 2022
To accommodate for the blistering heat in Qatar, nearly the entire world's league soccer calendar was altered. This is the first time that the World Cup, typically a summer tournament, will take place in November and December (when many professional club soccer leagues are in season).
The meddling by the Qatari regime to win the rights to host the tournament provoked a widely negative reaction. Hummel's stand against holding the World Cup in Qatar is not the first. Norwegian comedian and artist Rasmus Wold reflected his criticism of the World Cup and FIFA with his song Never Mind the Slavery.
The Norwegian national soccer team wore T-shirts with the slogan "Human Rights on and off the Pitch" as a protest against the working conditions in Qatar.