Denmark unveils Qatar World Cup protest gesture
Denmark will play in plain jerseys at this year's FIFA World Cup in Qatar, in what kit manufacturer Hummel describes as a protest against the Gulf state's human rights record.
Tournament host Qatar has faced widespread objections from much of the Western world due to perceived abuses of migrant workers who helped build the necessary infrastructure to hold the world's biggest sports tournament, with claims that thousands have died in the past several years.
The country has also been criticized for its treatment of LGBT individuals, with some suggesting that Qatar's stance on certain social issues should have made it ineligible to hold a global event of this magnitude.
The criticism has been reflected in the design of the Danish jersey by sportswear company Hummel, which has unveiled a stripped-down version of the country's famous red kit ahead of the World Cup kickoff in November.
“With the Danish national team’s new jerseys, we wanted to send a dual message. They are not only inspired by Euro 92, paying tribute to Denmark’s greatest football success, but also a protest against Qatar and its human rights record,” Hummel announced in a statement.
“That’s why we’ve toned down all the details for Denmark’s new World Cup jerseys, including our logo and iconic chevrons. 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. We believe that sport should bring people together. And when it doesn’t, we want to make a statement.”
Additionally, Hummel also revealed a second all-white strip and a third black and grey jersey – which it said reflects “mourning” in relation to the tournament.
Furthermore, Danish training jersey will display what it said are “critical messages” after sponsors agreed to have their logos replaced with other messaging.
Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is the committee organizing the World Cup, responded to Hummel's stance by stating that there have been “significant reforms to the labor system” which “ensur[ed] improved living conditions for [workers].”
It also distanced itself from allegations that thousands of migrant workers died in the building of the various stadiums.
“We dispute Hummel’s claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives,” it said.
“Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.
“We urge the [Danish Football Association] 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.”