Amnesty will challenge the FFF in Marseille on the sidelines of France – Côte d’Ivoire

New action by Amnesty International France in view of the next World Cup in Qatar (November 21 – December 18). The NGO will be present at 6 p.m. on Friday in Marseille, near the Vélodrome stadium, for the friendly match France – Côte d’Ivoire (9:15 p.m.), to “challenging the FFF and the players of the France team” and “demand respect for the rights of two million migrant workers in the host country”.

Amnesty, which spoke out against the boycott of the competition, denounces « serious violations » of these rights in the “stadiums, infrastructure and services” related to the organization and hosting of the World Cup. And consider that « the FFF, as a commercial partner of FIFA, has a considerable role to play in the respect of these rights ». The action will mainly concern the distribution of leaflets, to appeal to spectators going to the Vélodrome. « This is an opportunity to get in touch with all the supporters of the France team and to feel the temperature on this subject.explains Lola Schulmann, advocacy officer at Amnesty France. It is a warning and awareness action. »

Discussions with the Irrésistibles Français

Les Irrésistibles Français, the main group of supporters of the Blues (with nearly 1,000 members), also discussed with Amnesty officials on the subject of “the situation of migrant workers in Qatar” Wednesday evening, by videoconference. “We hope that the FFF and FIFA will agree to engage in a constructive dialogue with Amnesty International in order to advance these universal values ​​in our sport, on and especially around the fields”explained the Irresistibles Français, Thursday afternoon, in a series of tweets with a deliberately diplomatic tone.

“We are in a constructive approach, which is not to stigmatize Qatar but to say that it is evolving and that there is still room for improvement”, develops Fabien Bonnel, the spokesperson for the supporters’ association. Even if the latter has decided, on a personal basis, not to go to the small Gulf emirate in eight months. “We let our members position themselves, he continues. To those who go there, they are told:  »Try to worry about the condition of migrant workers ». »

When Doha invites fan associations

Several heads of supporters’ associations have also been approached by the Qatar 2022 organizing committee to invite them to Doha next week for the World Cup draw on April 1. Les Irrésistibles Français rejected the offer, says its spokesperson.

The day before this draw will also take place the FIFA Congress. On this occasion, Amnesty, still through the voice of Lola Schulmann, said it hoped that “The situation of workers’ rights will be addressed by certain Federations, particularly in northern Europe, and that FIFA can respond concretely to these concerns. »« The issue of human rights should not be taboo in football, » she continues. We saw it recently in England, where the coach (Gareth Southgate) and its captain (Harry Kane) have addressed this issue. »

After several postponements for scheduling problems, Amnesty is still waiting for an appointment – requested several months ago – to be able to settle with « 3F » and its president. Asked Wednesday by West FranceNoël Le Graët explained that « Qatar has made efforts on the issue of human rights and that this has been made possible thanks to football ». Pushing back against the boycott once again, Le Graët added: “The political subject is delicate, but the players are obviously free to express themselves on these questions. »

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