Norwegian Club’s Shirts Highlight Qatar’s Human Rights’ Violations

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Tromso IL on Monday launched what they call the world’s first football jersey with a QR code. And, created in collaboration with Amnesty International, the Norwegian club’s shirts highlight Qatar’s human rights’ violations.

This historic jersey is also a politically-charged dissent against alleged human rights abuses by Qatar, who’re hosting 2022’s World Cup.

Many sources worldwide have accused Qatar allowing abuses to basic human rights against migrant workers, including Norwegian journalists (football news).

And in fact, many of these immigrant labourers are under contract to build stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup.

Qatari companies employ these workers in building stadiums, subways, roads, other infrastructure and subject them to horrible, even dangerous, conditions.

In reality, some 90% of the country’s population are migrants without a claim to citizenship. And these migrant works also seek jobs as taxi drivers, security guards and service industry staff.

Of key concern to Amnesty is the “Kafala system” — a sponsorship scheme (often exploitatively) binding migrant workers to their employers.

It means workers are not able to move freely or change jobs. This translates to them having no means or mobility if they face unworthy living conditions and/or are denied pay.

Amnesty says the system is not in line with international human rights, which Qatar is under obligation to respect.

Norwegian Club’s Shirts Highlight Qatar’s Human Rights’ Violations

The Tromso team developed the shirt in collaboration with Amnesty International and a former migrant worker in the Gulf nation.

This jersey features a QR code that, when a mobile phone scans it, takes users to a website. This site offers them information about ongoing, alleged human rights violations in the 2022 FIFA World Cup host nation – Qatar.

It exposes the working conditions of some migrant workers who come to Qatar from Bangladesh, the Philippines, India, Nepal, etc.

The club players will debut the QR-code-equipped shirt in a league game against opponents Viking FK next Sunday.

“By doing this, we hope to spark more discussions, more debate. We want to see more action,” said Tom Hogli, a former player now in charge of public relations at Tromso.

He offered his opinion as he presented the jersey for Tromso IL.

“We can’t pretend football and politics are unrelated, and we must never look the other way when some use our beautiful game to overshadow human rights violations,” the club said.

Tromso IL accuses Qatar of “sportswashing” — using prestigious sporting events to improve its image while failing to address deeper issues.

“We can change this together. Stop sportswashing. Keep the game clean,” said Tromso.

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