Entering the field with a One Love bracelet or not, engaging in dialogue with Qatari migrant workers: For European countries participating in the World Cup, the issue of human rights in the host country is as important as football. According to NOS reporters on a tour, it is very different in Africa, Asia and South America. And proud Qatar itself, criticism is not understood.
Ecuador (placed in group with Netherlands)
South American Correspondent Boris van der Spek:
“In Ecuador, there is very little discussion in the West. The Guardian has written about FIFA president Infantino and the investigations into migrant workers in the media, but it plays a much less central role. .
In fact, when one player was asked about human rights in the pre-match press conference against Qatar, The coach intervened. Argentina’s Gustavo Albaro said he supports all human rights, but players should not question it. “They are footballers, they have their talents and dreams and they should be respected,” he said.
There is a lot of emphasis in Ecuador on how special it is for Ecuador to qualify for the World Cup. This is especially difficult in soccer-mad South America. World Cup fever has taken hold, and questions like ‘what will Ecuador do’ or ‘should we play’ are rarely asked across South America.
This is also reflected in the demographics of the participating countries. When Argentina played against Saudi Arabia, the streets were completely empty. People are always watching.”
Qatar (placed in group with Netherlands)
Arab World Correspondent Daisy More:
“The people of Qatar feel that there is a lot of criticism, especially from the Western media, and they are well aware of this. The Qataris I speak to call it disappointment and disappointment, because they themselves believe that they have recently made reforms in the field of rights. Migrant workers.
Experts say it is indeed there on paper, but much more needs to be done in practice.
Qatar is a conservative Islamic country, which makes it a very difficult place for LGBTI people living here. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an LGBTI community here, but it mostly takes place behind the scenes, just like the vast majority of the rest of the region.
Qatar has indicated that everyone, including the LGBTI community, is welcome during the World Cup. They believe in respect and understanding for their culture and religion. Straight couples are advised to be more discreet here in public than with us.
The One Love Bracelet has, of course, renewed the debate here, although most Qataris are pretty clear about it if you ask. It’s none of their business. They don’t really plan to change it because of the World Cup. The majority of Qataris are proud of their culture, heritage and religion.
They understand the West and have been there many times, but they do not aspire to become like us.
Senegal (placed in group with Netherlands)
African Correspondent Saskia Houtuin:
“When it comes to the human rights situation in Qatar, from the press, politics and football press, there is radio silence. The Senegalese sociologist I spoke to said it has to do with many things. In the country, sports are viewed separately. Also, the country is politically very unstable, which is more Attracts attention.
But above all, Senegal is a conservative country like Qatar. LGBT rights are also under pressure in Senegal. Homosexuality is prohibited by law, but the streets and parliament continue to call for harsher punishment.
Earlier this year, a Muslim Senegalese player, Idrissa Gana Gueye, was widely criticized in France when he missed a match at his club Paris Saint-Germain because he did not want to wear a rainbow shirt. Senegalese President Macky Sall on the other hand supported him. He signed A tweet That “his faith should be respected”. It says a lot about how people in the country feel about it.
But even on other issues like the treatment of stadium builders in Qatar, you don’t hear much from Senegal. The sociologist I spoke to said it was surprising how many of her university students were unaware of the abuses surrounding guest workers. Little attention has been paid to this in Senegal.”
Japan Correspondent Anoma van der Wiere:
“The rights of LGBTI people and minorities are less common in Japan than in Western countries. This has only begun to move in recent years, and more Japanese groups and organizations are firmly committed to wider acceptance and diversity.
Mainly because the conservative Japanese (who are still the majority) see it only as wind from the West, and they don’t want to do anything about it. So is the band One Love.
The coach of the Japanese team also said that they want to play football, not politics. So he did not comment on human rights abuses and minority rights in Qatar.
The action of the German players before the match against Japan was also misunderstood by some Japanese. When they saw the Germans covering their mouths (see the photo at the top of this article, ed.), they thought the Germans were making fun of them because they were still wearing their mouth masks.
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