World Cup 2022: 10 European soccer associations reply to Fifa’s ‘concentrate on soccer’ letter

Captain Harry Kane wearing a rainbow armband during an England game


England captain Harry Kane will wearing a ‘One Love’ armband at the World Cup in Qatar

Ten European football associations including those of England and Wales say “human rights are universal and apply everywhere” after Fifa asked nations competing at the Qatar World Cup to “now focus on the football”.

The world governing body wrote to all 32 teams following a controversial build-up to the tournament, which starts on 20 November.

Host Qatar has been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, its human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

The Fifa letter was criticised by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and LGBT+ campaigners in England and Wales.

While acknowledging the “significant progress” made by Qatar, a joint statement issued by members of the Uefa Working Group on human rights and labour rights said it would “continue to press” Fifa for answers on outstanding issues surrounding migrant workers.

“We acknowledge, and welcome, as we have done in the…