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Denmark kit supplier Hummel protests against Qatar and its human rights record

The sportswear brand stated that they fully support the Danish national team as they unveil toned down home, away and third kits.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 25, 2022 Denmark's midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (L) and Denmark's forward Kasper Dolberg both jump to head the ball during the UEFA Nations League football match between Denmark and France in Copenhagen on September 25, 2022.

The Danish national team will wear new kits at the World Cup that were designed by local manufacturer Hummel. The new kits however will serve as a protest vehicle against Qatar’s human rights record ahead of the tournament, the sportswear company said on Wednesday. In an accompanying statement, the brand said it had specifically underplayed the details on Denmark’s World Cup home and away shirts along with the release of a third all black kit.

The new red kit is inspired from their Euro 92 success when Denmark won their only major title, but the company logo and DBU (Danish FA) badge are blended into the red colour and are barely visible. An all black design, which Hummel said signifies the ‘colour of mourning’, will be their third kit in Qatar. ‘We’ve toned down all the details for Denmark’s new World Cup jerseys, including our logo and iconic chevrons,’ Hummel Sport said on Instagram.

Supreme Committee respond

Qatar’s World Cup organising body, the Qatar Supreme Committee (SC), responded to the kit release by refuting Hummel’s claims, arguing it trivialised their “genuine commitment to protect the health and safety” of migrant workers, estimated to be around 30,000, largely from South Asia.

Qatar claims that three labourers died in work-related accidents during construction work for the World Cup, although the nation has been accused of under reporting deaths with limited data released by authorities, with Hummel’s statement claiming it was “thousands”.

Lusail Stadium, the 80,000-capacity venue
Full screen
Lusail Stadium, the 80,000-capacity venue MUSTAFA ABUMUNESAFP

Qatar criticism

The DBU said its two training kit sponsors would make way for messages critical of Qatar while it will also minimise the number of trips to the country to avoid commercial activities that promote the World Cup hosts’ events.

Denmark is not the only team to be critical of Qatar, which has faced intense criticism from human rights groups over its treatment of migrant workers. England’s Football Association has also said families of migrant workers in Qatar who were injured or killed while constructing the infrastructure for this year’s World Cup should be compensated. Last week Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said FIFA’s partners and World Cup sponsors must urge world soccer’s governing body and the Qatari government to compensate migrant workers.