April 1 – Real Madrid’s German international Toni Kroos has become the latest high-profile player to criticise 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers – but stopped short of calling for a boycott of the tournament.
Speaking on his podcast, Kroos made it clear the Gulf state should not have been handed the event in the first place, saying “I think it’s wrong that this tournament was awarded to Qatar.”
“Many of the labourers are migrant workers from other countries and they work without breaks in up to 50 degree heat. They suffer under inadequate nutrition and lack of drinking water, which is madness in those temperatures.”
“Their safety is not guaranteed at all, there is no medical care and there are also examples of violence against workers.”
He then added: “Homosexuality is also illegal in Qatar and is persecuted. These are issues which are simply unacceptable, there can be no two ways of looking at it.”
Kroos is currently out injured but his German teammates made headlines recently when they joined the protest about Qatar’s human rights record by wearing t-shirts spelling out ‘Human Rights’ joining a growing campaign started by Norway.
The Norwegian FA will hold an extraordinary meeting on June 20 to discuss whether to go ahead with a boycott but 2014 World Cup winner Kroos is not convinced that is the best way forward.
“What would a boycott achieve? Would it change the working conditions? I don’t believe it would,” he said.
“These conditions don’t just exist because the World Cup is taking place in Qatar, the situation is generally like that there, so boycotting the World Cup won’t change anything.”
“Rather, I believe that it is important to draw extreme attention to these problems once again, perhaps also maybe in advance of or during a tournament like this, so that maybe something can be improved because of that.”
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