Danish sportswear company Hummel has unveiled the official 2022 FIFA World Cup kits for the Denmark men’s national team, albeit with a subtle message.
Denmark’s new red kit is inspired by their Euro 92 success, when they won its only major trophy to date. However, the jersey has its logo and details barely visible. An all-black design, which Hummel has said signifies the “colour of mourning”, will be Denmark’s “third” kit in Qatar.
Denmark will wear these kits at the World Cup as a protest against Qatar’s human rights record ahead of the tournament, the sportswear company said on Wednesday.
The Danish Football Union has also said that its two training kit sponsors will make way for messages critical of Qatar, while the Danish football-governing body will also minimise the number of trips to the country to avoid commercial activities that promote the World Cup hosts’ events.
“We’ve toned down all the details for Denmark’s new World Cup jerseys, including our logo and iconic chevrons,” Hummel Sport said on Instagram.
“We wish to make a statement about Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of the migrant workers that have built the country’s World Cup stadiums.”
Qatar’s organising committee, in response, accused Hummel of “trivialising” the country’s efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers and called on the Danish Football Union to intervene.
The committee added that there had been “robust and transparent dialogue” with the Danish Football Union that had led to “a better understanding of the progress made”.
“We dispute Hummel’s claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives,” read a statement from the committee.
“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.”
The committee also said that Qatar’s reforms had been “recognised” by some international human rights groups “as a model that has accelerated progress and improved lives”.
“Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey,” said the statement.
“We urge the DBU [Danish Football Union] 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.”
After Denmark sealed qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup last year, the Danish Football Union had said that it would institute a series of measures to shine a spotlight on the human rights issues in Qatar.
However, Denmark are not the only team critical of the Arab country, which has faced intense criticism from human rights groups over its treatment of migrant workers.
England’s Football Association has also said families of migrant workers in Qatar who were injured or killed while constructing the infrastructure for this year’s World Cup should be compensated.
Last week, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said FIFA’s partners and World Cup sponsors must urge world football’s governing body and the Qatari government to compensate migrant workers.