Denmark believe protests have changed Qatari attitudes

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Denmark Training - Al Sailiya SC 2, Al Rayyan, Qatar - November 17, 2022 Denmark players during training REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

AL RAYYAN, Qatar, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Danish football's protest against Qatar's human rights record has delivered results, with conditions for migrant workers improving because of the international focus, Danish Football Association chief Jakob Jensen said on Thursday.

Denmark has been vocal in highlighting alleged abuse of workers' rights in Qatar ahead of their participation the World Cup, previously protesting with messages on their training kit and now blackening their team badge on their kit for the tournament.

The Danish players are also travelling without their families to the tournament in Qatar, which gets under way on Sunday.

"I think we've been able to make an impact on Qatar. It's been done by very many actors, not just the associations, but also organisations and international governments," Jensen, the chief executive of the football association, told Reuters.

"I think one has to be honest that there's been quite many improvements within Qatar legislation, and Amnesty International also reported that thousands of migrant workers actually have improved their conditions."

"But I think it's also fair to say we're still pushing for more."

Labour rights campaigners say Qatar has failed workers by falling short on reform commitments it made in order to become the first Arab country to host the tournament.

Qatar has rejected demands for a $440 million fund to compensate workers for labour rights abuses, including injuries and deaths, pointing to its own raft of reforms, such as higher minimum wages and an end to exit permits.

The International Labour Organisation has said reforms enacted in Qatar have improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers and are "significant for the region".

Jensen said Danish football would continue to use its appeal to take on other campaigns.

"I think that's going to happen. I do think that other issues are pushing their way on to the football agenda and we are trying to embrace them as much as we can."

"I believe in the power of football; I believe people can change the world," Jensen added.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Bradley Perrett

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