Southgate promises to 'educate' players over Qatar ahead of World Cup

Gareth Southgate promises to give England stars lessons on Qatar’s human rights record, after extensively ‘educating’ himself, with Harry Kane and Co considering public protests ahead of next year’s World Cup

  • England players are considering protests over Qatar’s human rights record
  • The Three Lions qualified for next year’s World Cup in a 10-0 win over San Marino
  • Gareth Southgate says players will be ‘educated’ before the tournament starts
  • Holland, Norway and Germany have all made public protests this year
  • Qatar has faced fierce criticism over the treatment of migrant workers
  • Sportsmail revealed workers are paid £12 for 11-hour days and dying in the heat  

Gareth Southgate insists the England camp will ‘educate’ themselves before deciding whether to protest Qatar’s human rights record ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

England have qualified for the tournament in the Middle Eastern nation following their emphatic 10-0 thrashing of minnows San Marino on Monday.

With little more than a year to go until Qatar 2022, the country’s treatment of migrant workers building infrastructure including stadiums for the tournament has faced fierce criticism.

It was previously reported that players will discuss how they can air their views on the situation after they sealed qualification for the World Cup. 

Speaking after the game against San Marino, Southgate said in his press conference: ‘I’ve been in some conversations as part of an FA delegation with people from Qatar. So I’ve been trying to get a better understanding of exactly the situation. I think we’ll obviously take the time to inform the players a bit more about what’s going on. 

‘We have to be certain on who we should be speaking to, and exactly what issues are important, because it feels as if there are a lot. And it’s a very complicated situation for us. We have to go and work with people and represent the country in a foreign land and when you are doing that you have got to be 100 per cent sure of your facts.

‘That’s not easy because it’s hard to work through what is current and what is historic. We have a responsibility to represent our country in the right way.’

England players are considering public protests over Qatar’s human rights record 

Gareth Southgate insists the England camp will ‘educate’ themselves ahead of Qatar 2022

‘There are clear cultural differences between the two nations,’ he added. ‘And also we, as a nation, do a lot of business with Qatar as well. 

‘I was reading about Rolls Royce, 10,000 new jobs, heavy investment from Qatar into green machinery and a way of working. So it is hugely complex but we will take the time to educate ourselves and if we feel there are areas we can highlight and help, we have always tried to do that and we will do that.’

Over the weekend, the Mail on Sunday revealed that the state is sending immigrant World Cup workers away from the country early and placing them on five months’ unpaid leave so they will not be visible during the tournament.

And this week Sportsmail detailed that workers are paid just £12 for 11-hour days and are facing inhuman conditions under the burning sun.

The Holland, Norway and Germany national squads have all made high-profile protests ahead of the tournament and there have been calls for Southgate’s team to follow suit.   

England will compete in Qatar after qualifying for the World Cup after big win over San Marino

Amnesty International called on England’s coaching staff, players and supporters to raise human rights issues before it gets underway in a year’s time.

As reported by the BBC, chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: ‘The exploitation of Qatar’s massive migrant workforce has already cast a dark shadow over next year’s World Cup.

‘The Football Association ought to use the remaining year until kick-off to push for lasting labour reforms in Qatar. It is part of the Uefa Working Group on Workers’ Rights in Qatar and can press the Doha authorities over strengthening migrant worker protections, investigating worker deaths and helping to fashion a tournament with a genuinely positive legacy.

Qatar has faced fierce criticism over treatment of migrant workers ahead of the tournament

Holland, Norway and German (pictured) have all made public protests against Qatar this year

‘It’s more important than ever that England’s coaching staff, players and supporters raise human rights issues ahead of next year’s kick-off.’

Meanwhile, David Beckham who signed a multi-million deal with the Qataris to be the ‘face’ of the World Cup, is facing pressure to reverse his decision.

One year out from the tournament kick-off, Beckham is due in Doha this weekend for the Qatar Grand Prix and now faces uncomfortable questions when he starts promoting the World Cup. 

Senior sources at Unicef, a key part of his charity work for 15 years, are ‘dismayed’ by Beckham signing a multi-million-pound deal with the Qataris. Reports have suggested Beckham will be paid £150m across the next 10 years.

David Beckham has faced calls to reverse his decision to be the ‘face’ of the World Cup

Amnesty said he should use his position to ‘keep the world’s focus on the human rights issues surrounding the matches’ at next year’s World Cup.

Ahead of the game with San Marino, Conor Coady, who is part of the England squad’s leadership committee, said that he was sure conversations over potential action would be taken after they sealed their qualification.

He added: ‘An incredible thing that comes out of this England squad is that people try to make a difference all the time. People are trying to use that platform. If there is any way players can help, I am sure we as part of the England setup will try to do that.’

He added: ‘At the minute it is tough to speak about it because it is not something we have had a real conversation about.

‘Over the next few months it’s something we’ll have a conversation about, as players, as a team, as individuals and really look at what’s going on.’

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