dpa/GNA – Human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) opposes a boycott of the 2022 football World Cup because it would do more damage than good.
Norwegian football clubs and German fans are among those calling for a boycott of the tournament, mainly because of the treatment of migrant workers in the country.
The calls intensified recently after British paper The Guardian said that 6,500 migrant workers from five Asian countries have died in Qatar since the nation was awarded the tournament in 2010.
But AI Germany Qatar expert Regina Spoettl told the watson.de portal in a report published on Thursday: “There is progress and a boycott would set it all back several years.
“Amnesty International has never called for a boycott,” she said.
“Amnesty relies on uncovering and making the grievances visible and engaging in dialogue with all those involved. Qatar has shown itself to be ready to talk and has initiated reforms.”
Human rights and labour organizations have agreed that Qatar has improved workers’ rights through reforms, although more is needed.
Qatar has also referred to its reform process, while Spoettl urged players, sports officials and federations to become more engaged. She suggested that Qatar could become a role model for other countries in the region.
“Football is a global phenomenon. It can build bridges and contribute to improving the situation of the workers,” Spoettl said.