Hundreds of professional soccer players from the Netherlands pitted against Qatar

At least three hundred professional Dutch football players from the Premier League and First League for men and women, just like the Dutch national team, are taking a stand against the poor conditions of workers in Qatar, where the World Cup will be organized within a year. time. VVCS will hand over a petition to KNVB on Thursday, stating that “urgent action” must be taken against “appalling working conditions”.

The signatories notably call on the KNVB and FIFA FIFPro to allow FIFA to pressure the government in Qatar. FIFA should also create a fund to financially support the families of deceased workers. Evgeny Levchenko, President of the Syndicate: “We used that to show that you can do something with actions, not just words. I think FIFA and the Players’ Union should focus on that.”

‘Football supports change’

Levchenko thinks it is “nice” that “a great number” of professional football players in the Netherlands participate in the World Cup, even though “Qatar” is still “far from their bed” for many. “It is important for soccer players to talk. You often don’t see them protesting, and it has been shown throughout history that boycotts are rare. But, and this is my personal opinion, soccer players are also part of the community. Then you can give your opinion. It’s so good that a lot of people do.” It is also good for KNVB. The union can continue with the support of its players. ”

According to Levchenko, player unions are also making statements in Norway and Australia. He hopes that FIFPro will also seek global support for a strong statement against human rights violations. KNVB says it is happy with the players participating in the Netherlands.

Amnesty International, which has previously taken a critical approach to the “tepid statements” of the Dutch national team, is pleased with the VVCS initiative. The Dutch national team players showed themselves in black shirts before the qualifying match against Latvia, b “Football supports change.”

Thousands of people have died in Qatar over the past decade as a result of poor working conditions during construction of World Cup facilities there. The soccer tournament begins in 588 days.

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