Denmark's 'protest' World Cup kits provoke reaction from Qatar's Supreme Committee

  • Kobe Tong
Denmark celebrate vs France.

Hummel made a powerful statement on Wednesday when they explained the message behind Denmark’s official kits for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The iconic manufacturers revealed the jerseys to the world earlier in September with the Danes set to wear a trio of subtle designs featuring an all-red home kit, all-white away kit and all-black third kit at the tournament in November and December.

However, Hummel have now revealed that they made the conscious decision to tone down the kit designs as “a protest against Qatar and its human rights record.”

Hummel explains new Denmark kits

They explained across social media posts that the branding on the strips, such as their classic chevrons, weren’t as prominent as usual in order for them to dial down their visibility at the tournament.

The Danish sportswear brand explained: “With the Danish national team’s new jerseys, we wanted to send a dual message. They are not only inspired by Euro 92, paying tribute to Denmark’s greatest football success, but also a protest against Qatar and its human rights record.

“That’s why we’ve toned down all the details for Denmark’s new World Cup jerseys, including our logo and iconic chevrons. We don’t wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.

“We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn’t the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation.

“We believe that sport should bring people together. And when it doesn’t, we want to make a statement.”

Controversy surrounding 2022 World Cup

The decision for Qatar to host the upcoming tournament has been criticised in many circles, leading to some suggestions amongst fans, ex-players and pundits that it should be boycotted altogether.

As such, it’s not surprising to see that the message Hummel are conveying with their approach to Denmark’s kits is one that has been received so positively by great swathes of supporters online.

The impact of the Denmark shirts has even been such that – according to Sky Sports – Qatar’s Supreme Committee has since released an official statement responding to the protest.

Denmark in their new kit.
Soccer Football – UEFA Nations League – Group A – Denmark v France – Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark – September 25, 2022 Denmark’s Kasper Dolberg celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

Supreme Committee responds with strong statement

Their statement reads: “Since winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup, the SC has worked diligently alongside the Qatari government to ensure that the tournament delivers a lasting social legacy.

“For that reason, we dispute Hummel’s claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives. Furthermore, 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.

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“The onus should always be on countries to do more to protect the rights of peoples all over the world, including in Denmark. The SC’s work is recognised by numerous entities within the international human rights community as a model that has accelerated progress and improved lives. Qatar’s reforms are acknowledged by the ILO and ITUC as a benchmark in the region. Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.

“We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the SC, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel.”

It is clear, therefore, that Hummel’s decision to protest has made a significant impact upon key figures in the tournament’s organisation and only time will tell whether further action will be taken.

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