European nations press FIFA for answers ahead of World Cup

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By Associated Press

MANCHESTER: European nations, including England, are pushing FIFA for “concrete answers” on issues relating to migrant workers ahead of the World Cup.

The 10 nations speaking Sunday include eight with World Cup-bound teams that have committed to captains wearing One Love armbands in breach of FIFA-written rules.

UEFA Working Group on Human and Labour Rights is pressing for a definitive response regarding a compensation fund for workers and the concept of a migrant workers center in Doha.

In a joint statement it welcomed assurances from the Qatari Government and FIFA regarding the safety of fans at the World Cup, including LGBTQ+ supporters.

But it underlined its ongoing commitment to migrant workers ahead of the tournament.

“FIFA has repeatedly committed to deliver concrete answers on these issues — the compensation fund for migrant workers, and the concept of a migrant workers centre to be created in Doha — and we will continue to press for these to be delivered,” read the statement. “We believe in the power of football to make further positive and credible contributions to progressive sustainable change in the world.”

The working group is made up of 10 nations: England, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales.

In its statement it said it acknowledged “significant progress” has been made with regards to the rights of migrant workers.

“We also recognise that every country has issues and challenges and we agree with FIFA that diversity is a strength,” it added. “However, embracing diversity and tolerance also means supporting human rights. Human rights are universal and they apply everywhere.”