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EURO 2020

‘The World Cup is for everyone’ – Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen raise concerns ahead of tournament in Qatar

Manchester United players Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen have raised concerns about Qatar hosting the World Cup ahead of the tournament kicking off next weekend.

The biggest tournament on the international football calendar begins on 20 November, when the host nation face Ecuador in Group A.

But FIFA, world football’s governing body, is facing pressure over the decision to stage the World Cup in Qatar because of human right concerns surrounding migrant workers and safety concerns over fans from the LGBT community.

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“We’ve seen the surroundings over the past few weeks and months and about people who have died on the construction of the stadiums. We are not happy for that,” Fernandes, who will represent Portugal at the World Cup, told Sky Sports.

“We want football to be for everyone and get everyone included and involved in the World Cup.

“It’s the World Cup, it’s for everyone. Doesn’t matter who. These kinds of things I think should not happen at any time.

“But for a World Cup that is more than football, it’s a party for fans and players, and a joy to watch, should be done in a better way.”

Eriksen will be part of the Denmark squad in Qatar, and the Danes will be wearing plain kits at the tournament after designers Hummel said “we don’t wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.”
The Danish Football Federation asked FIFA to allow players to wear training shirts saying “Human Rights for All”, but the request was rejected.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino wrote to all 32 participating countries urging them to “focus on the football”.

“I’ve worked hard for the World Cup and can’t wait for it. It’s been mentioned a lot. No matter where it is, it’s football. We’ve qualified, and we’re just going to play football,” Eriksen said.

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“I totally agree with Bruno. There’s a lot of focus on it, how the World Cup has happened and why it’s in Qatar. It hasn’t gone the right way.

“We are footballers, politics is about something above us to make that decision. We try to say our thing and do what we can. We want to get focused on it but the change has to come from somewhere else.”

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