The men’s Danish soccer team has been forbidden from wearing training shirts showing human rights messaging at this month’s World Cup in Qatar.
The Danish Football Federation’s (DBU) CEO, Jakob Jensen, revealed the ban in an interview with Danish publication DR Sporten, released on Thursday.
The DBU planned for the jerseys to read “Human Rights for All” but Jensen told DR Sporten: “Today, we received a message from FIFA that the training shirt we had thought the players should train in, which says Human Rights For All on the stomach, has been rejected for technical reasons, and we are sorry about that.
“We are of the opinion that the message Human Rights for All is universal and is not a political call, but it should be something that all people can support.”
FIFA abides by the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) Laws of the Game and declined to comment on the matter when CNN reached out. Law 4.4 of the IFAB handbook stipulates that “Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.”
Since the World Cup was awarded to Qatar over a decade ago, the event has been dogged by controversy with the host country strongly criticized due to the human rights situation in the Gulf state and the treatment of migrant workers.
Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who led the organization when Qatar was awarded the hosting rights, told Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger recently “Qatar is a mistake,” adding that “the choice was bad.”
In September, the Danish team’s kit manufacturer Hummel revealed three kits: an all-red, an all-white, and an all-black shirt which represents the “color of mourning.” The company says the look represents a protest to express that: “We don’t wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives,” according to an Instagram post.
Tournament organizers at the time disputed Hummel’s claims and said they have engaged in “robust and transparent dialogue” with the DBU.
The 2022 World Cup runs from November 20 through to December 18.