Germany international Toni Kroos has described the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup as ‘wrong’, but believes that boycotting the tournament is not the right way to protest, amid concerns over the labourers’ human rights and working conditions.
A recent report revealed that at least 6,500 migrant workers have died since Qatar was handed the honour of hosting the prestigious tournament, which has caused several national teams to lead protests, while there are talks of some boycotting the tournament.
And while speaking on his brother Felix’s podcast, Einfach mal Luppen, Kroos admitted that he personally believes it was ‘wrong’ to reward Qatar with the 2022 World Cup, citing the breaches of human rights as a major issue.
“I think it’s wrong that this tournament was given [to Qatar],” said Kroos, who has been forced to watch his teammates from home this week, after suffering a groin injury.
“Immigrant workers are subjected to days without rest with the temperature under a torrid 50 degrees, they suffer from insufficient nutrition, without drinking water and at crazy temperatures. All of these points are absolutely unacceptable.”
The Real Madrid star does not believe that the World Cup should be boycotted, however, stating ‘football always arouses extreme attention.’
“Would a boycott serve to improve working conditions? I think not. Football always arouses extreme attention. Be it before the tournament or during it.”
Norway have mounted two protests against Qatar in the latest round of internationals, first wearing a t-shirt with the words, ‘human rights on and off the pitch’ emblazoned across it, and then holding up five fingers before kickoff, a sign used in Asia in their own human rights protests.
Germany followed suit, banding together to spell out the words ‘human rights’ before their clash with Iceland, as the pressure builds on Qatar to address these issues as soon as possible.