Liverpool supporters have expressed concerns about Qatar’s labour and human rights record ahead of the club’s trip to the Gulf state in December.
As European Champions, Liverpool will be competing in FIFA’s Club World Cup which is taking place in Qatar from 11th to the 22nd December.
This winter’s competition is the first of three to be held in Qatar, which is currently ruled via absolute monarchy, before it hosts the World Cup in 2022.
Since being awarded FIFA competitions, Qatar has come in for regular criticism over its treatment of migrant workers building the stadiums and infrastructure for the tournaments.
Now Liverpool fans, led by Spirit of Shankly, have said they are talking to their club and the Qatari authorities ahead of the World Club Cup.
Spirit of Shankly said: “FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to the Gulf state has brought controversy and condemnation, with many fan groups and supporters concerned about migrant-worker deaths, workers’ rights and human rights, as well as being worried for their own safety and wellbeing.
“Spirit of Shankly join other organisations in calling on the Qatari authorities to take immediate steps to investigate and address the deeply troubling pattern of deaths of migrant workers.”
Previously, the Football Supporters’ Federation supported the PlayFair Qatar campaign - pressuring the Qatari government into abolishing its controversial Kafala system, which ties a worker’s legal status to a sponsor, usually their employer.
Similarly, Liverpool fans have also expressed concerns about Qatar’s troublesome record on LGBT issues. Homosexuality is still illegal in the Gulf state, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
The Qatari government does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil partnerships, nor does it allow people in Qatar to campaign for LGBT rights.
“Supported by Kop Outs, Spirit of Shankly have asked Liverpool FC and Qatar’s Local Organising Committee to verify that all fans – including those in the LGBT community – wishing to travel to Qatar be able to do so freely and without hindrance and fear from the authorities once they arrive,” Spirit of Shankly said.
Qatar’s Local Organising Committee told Spirit of Shankly that it “values the input of fans” and looks forward to welcoming fans to the tournament. Spirit of Shankly added they will continue to work to ensure travelling supporters are provided with the information they require.
Thanks to PA Images for the image used in this article.