German football fans call for Qatar World Cup boycott
'BOYCOTT QATAR 2022' and 'more dead than minutes of play' read the banners in support of the workers who died during the construction of the stadia in Qatar.
Fans in German stadiums called on Saturday for boycotts of the upcoming Qatar World Cup.
In Dortmund, fans in the club's yellow wall - the all-standing southern stand - unveiled a banner that read 'BOYCOTT QATAR 2022' and another reading 'more dead than minutes of play'.
Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin fans in the teams' clash in Berlin echoed the sentiment, as well as fans at the second-division game between Fortuna Duesseldorf and St Pauli.
The Dortmund fans' banner, which was printed in yellow and black colors, refers to the 5,760 minutes of football that will be played in Qatar alongside the controversial number of 6,500 deaths that The Guardian published in 2021.
In October, several French cities were planning to ban fan zones and large screens to show the Qatar World Cup soccer matches.
Some of the cities, which include Lille, Strasbourg, and Bordeaux, are doing so in a show of protest against ecological and humanitarian issues.
Some mayors said the waste of human lives during the construction of the stadia in Qatar is enough of a reason to not promote the event, expected to be held on November 20 to December 18.
Read: 2021 Roundup: Sportswashing human rights violations
From acquiring clubs to investing in billions of dollars and hosting international events, oppressive political regimes are using sports and sporting events to whitewash their crimes against humanity.
Qatar vehemently rejected any criticism, insisting that it has reformed its labor laws and introduced a minimum wage.
Amnesty International urged Qatar to halt abuses against migrant workers, many of whom are involved in the construction of the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure.
In a humane initiative, Norwegian football club Tromso IL presented what it called "the world's first football jersey with a QR code" aimed at defending human rights in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
The jersey, developed in collaboration with Amnesty International, features a QR code that, when scanned, takes users to a website with information about human rights and sports washing.
Tromso said it was the first professional club to seek a boycott of the World Cup in Qatar to protest against conditions for migrant workers in the Emirate.
It seems for political regimes that investing in international sports events that attract the attention of billions around the world is a good opportunity to wash their crimes and distract people from human rights violations, such as occupying lands, murdering people, torturing critics, and butchering opponents. And when these human rights violations and abuses are mentioned, we cannot but think of the Israeli occupation, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.