After a working visit by Secretary General Heike Ullrich to Qatar, the German Football Association feels encouraged not to boycott the World Cup despite ongoing human rights violations.
“I can understand it when people say I don’t go there as a fan or as a substitute. But the statement from the guest workers was very clear: because you come, because you help us and ask questions, a lot has developed here. In that respect we like to take on this role,” said Ullrich of the German Press Agency before her appearance in the sports committee of the Bundestag this Monday.
The 52-year-old recently got an idea of the conditions in Qatar as a member of a working group of the European Football Union. “We have met with many non-governmental organizations, with the Qatar Football Federation, but also with migrants. A main statement from them was: it is excellent that there is no boycott. By focusing on the country, improving working conditions is very much has been achieved.”
Nevertheless, there is still a lot to do. “There are still cases where legislation has changed but not implemented. That’s the area where football can certainly help to keep raising these issues to make a difference for people. Not just along the way for the World Cup, but also afterwards,” emphasized Ullrich.
In addition, topics such as women’s rights, LGBTQ+ and freedom of the press were discussed intensively. “We saw a lot of development, but also noticed the barriers and barriers that are often based on culture, other forms of government or religious backgrounds,” reported Ullrich.