“Sponsors should use their considerable influence to put pressure on FIFA and Qatar”

Between call for a boycott and political measures, the World Cup in Qatar has caused a lot of ink to flow in recent months.

Qatar is notably accused of having violated the rights of migrant workers. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and FairSquare call on the Qatari government to provide compensation and other compensation to migrant workers and their families who were killed or injured, robbed or indebted by illegal recruitment fees during the preparation of the tournament .

“Sponsors should use their considerable influence to put pressure on FIFA and Qatar”

In July, the three human rights organizations wrote to the 14 commercial partners and sponsors of the FIFA World Cup asking them to call on the football body to remedy the abuses committed against migrant workers in preparation for the World Cup.

Brands buy World Cup sponsorship rights because they want to be associated with joy, fair competition and spectacular human achievement on the playing field – not the rampant wage theft and death of workers who made the World Cup possible “said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch.”With just two months to go before the first kick of the ball, the sponsors should use their considerable influence to pressure FIFA and Qatar to fulfill their human rights responsibilities to these workers.

-> Read also: “Measures that give a good conscience”: why the sponsors of the Belgian team at the World Cup in Qatar avoid the harsh boycott

Four sponsors answer the call… including AB InBev

Since then, four sponsors – AB InBev/Budweiser, Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s – have declared themselves in favor of such financial compensation.

The four sponsors do not turn their backs on FIFA and refuse calls for a boycott. But the companies say they are in favor of compensating the victims. “We will continue to work with FIFA, human rights experts and other sponsors to help drive positive human rights change, including supporting processes that facilitate access to compensation, both around the tournament and in the communities we serve,“said the spokesperson for Mc Donald.

This is not the first time that sponsors have been called upon to react to the World Cup. The company AB InBev, also a partner of the Red Devils, had undertaken not to take customers to Qatar. “As usual, Jupiler will continue to activate its activities related to the World Cup in Belgium. Jupiler’s marketing strategy does not include sending fans or partners to the tournament so we can focus on local campaigns and activations.” had declared Pascaline Van de Perre, External communication manager of ABInbev Belux at La Libre.

A silent majority

Ten other World Cup sponsors and FIFA partners did not respond, although they have policies to uphold human rights and environmental, social and governance standards in their activities and relationships. commercial. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights set out the responsibilities of all businesses to respect human rights, including using their influence over business partners to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on human rights.

-> Read also: Qatar 2022: the Belgian Football Union tackles the delicate subject of working conditions.

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