Soccer-Hummel tone down Denmark jerseys, release black kits in Qatar World Cup protest

DOHA (Reuters) -Denmark will wear kits at the World Cup that were designed by manufacturer Hummel as a protest against Qatar's human rights record ahead of the tournament, the sportswear company said on Wednesday.

Hummel said it had toned down the details on Denmark's World Cup jerseys and also released a black kit.

The new red kit is inspired from their Euro 92 success when Denmark won their only major title, but has its logo and details 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.

"We wish to make a statement about Qatar's human rights record and its treatment of the migrant workers that have built the country's World Cup stadiums."

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".

"...We have engaged in robust and transparent dialogue with the DBU (Denmark's football association). This dialogue resulted in a better understanding of the progress made, the challenges faced, and the legacy we will deliver beyond 2022," a SC spokesperson told Reuters.

"We whole-heartedly reject the trivialising our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup stadiums and other tournament projects.

"That same commitment now extends to 150,000 workers across various tournament services and 40,000 workers in the hospitality sector."

The government has said its labour system is a work in progress, but denied a 2021 Amnesty report that thousands of migrant workers were still being exploited.

After Denmark sealed qualification for the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 World Cup last year, the DBU said it was instituting a series of measures to shine a spotlight on human rights issues in Qatar.

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.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru and Andrew Mills in Doha; Editing by William Maclean and Toby Davis)

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