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Qatar says Hummel 'trivialising' their commitment to migrant World Cup workers with Denmark kit protest

By Ben Somerford

Doha, September 29: Qatar's World Cup organising committee says sportswear maker Hummel is "trivializing" their efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers after revealing Denmark's toned-down kit in protest at the issue.

Hummel, who are the Danish football team's long-term kit supplier, released the side's 2022 World Cup jerseys on Wednesday (September 28), including a black third-choice design which is the "color of mourning", to honour the migrant workers who died during construction work for the tournament.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) promised in November to wear clothing with "critical messages" at the World Cup and while FIFA rules prohibit political statements, the team uniform is a major change to their iconic kits.

The three Denmark kits are all-red, all-white and all-black, with their iconic white chevrons faded into the same single colour as the shirt.

"This shirt carries with it a message," Hummel said. "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."

Qatar's organising group, the Qatar Supreme Committee (QSC), responded to the kit release by disputing Hummel's claims, arguing it trivialised their "genuine commitment to protect the health and safety" of migrant workers, estimated to be around 30,000, largely from South Asia.

Qatar claims that three labourers died in work-related accidents during construction work for the World Cup, although the nation has been accused of under reporting deaths with limited data released by authorities, with Hummel's statement claiming it was "thousands".

"We dispute Hummel's claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives," the QSC statement said.

"Furthermore, we wholeheartedly reject the trivialising (of) our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.

"Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.

"We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the Supreme Committee, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel."

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Story first published: Thursday, September 29, 2022, 9:23 [IST]
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