By Philip O’Connor
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – An Amnesty International adviser was prevented from taking a scarf drawing attention to Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers into Denmark’s game against France on Sunday despite the home side’s kit being designed to highlight the same cause.
Annette Stubkjaer Rimmer, a political adviser to Amnesty in Denmark, had been outside the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen for the Nations League game, selling yellow scarves bearing the message “#ForMigrantWorkers”.
“We were about around 10, 15 people that were standing outside of the stadium talking to football fans about FIFA and Qatar, and their responsibilities to compensate migrant workers that has suffered in the preparations for the World Cup,” Stubkjaer told Reuters in a Zoom interview.
When she went to take her seat for the game, in which Denmark beat the reigning world champions 2-0, she was told that the scarf would not be allowed in.
“Security guards stopped us … and then they decided after talking together that it was too political for them to let us in with the scarf, so that we had to leave the scarf outside of the stadium,” she said.
On Wednesday sportswear company Hummel said on Instagram that the kit Denmark will wear at the World Cup, which they also wore against France, was designed as a protest against Qatar’s human rights record.
Hummel said it had toned down the details on Denmark’s World Cup jerseys and also released a black kit.
Qatar’s World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), said it disputed Hummel’s claim that “the tournament has cost thousands of people their lives”.
“Furthermore, we wholeheartedly reject the trivialising (of) our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects,” it added.
Jakob Hoyer, head of communications for the Danish Football Association (DBU), which has worked together with Amnesty on issues around human rights and the World Cup and was Sunday’s match organisers, told Denmark’s TV2 Sport that Stubkjaer should have been allowed into the stadium with her scarf.
“In itself, the message ‘#ForMigrantWorkers’ is not political, and it should be possible to bring such a scarf to a national match in Parken,” he said.
Denmark will face Tunisia, France and Australia in Group D when the World Cup gets under way in November.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Toby Davis)