By George Overhill

29th Sep, 2022 | 11:10am

Mateusz Klich in Instagram message to Leeds United teammate Rasmus Kristensen over Qatar scandal

Mateusz Klich applauded the launch of Denmark’s monochrome World Cup kits in protest at Qatar’s human rights record in a social media post to Leeds United teammate Rasmus Kristensen.

The Danish FA had launched an initiative in November to remain critical of the Gulf state, with sponsors forgoing exposure on training clothes, and kit manufacturer Hummel unveiled on their Instagram page on Wednesday (28 September) a block red home kit with logos barely visible, the same for the white away version, as well as a “colour of mourning” black third kit.

In a statement on the page they announced: “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.”

In response to the move, Whites midfielder Klich posted on his own Instagram stories a message to Danish international Kristensen with a series of applauding emojis.

An investigation from The Guardian published on 23 February 2021 reported that over 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded a decade earlier, while a 2020 report from campaign group Human Rights Watch also detailed unpaid wages and illegal deductions.

The Supreme Committee have responded to Hummel’s announcement, releasing a statement of their own, as per talkSPORT, saying: “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.”

Scandal

The decision to award the World Cup to Qatar has been plagued by controversy virtually every step of the way, with the fact that temperatures during the summer months can reach as high as 50 degrees celcius meaning it had to be moved to November and December.

Homosexuality is illegal in the country, and England are one of 10 FAs to agree to a “OneLove” captain’s armband which Harry Kane will wear, although that has itself been criticised as too vague of a gesture.

Gareth Southgate has previously indicated it is difficult to point fingers when we have our own issues to address, which is valid point.

But when it comes to the fact that thousands of workers have literally died in order to stage this tournament it is a shocking scandal and it should not be left to individual nations and their shirt manufacturers to raise it when FIFA will be raking in untold millions off the back of it.

Klich has always been one to speak his mind so it is no surprise that he has made his feelings clear on the matter, but while players can raise awareness of an issue, short of a mass boycott they can’t actually tackle the problems.

The Danish kit is a nice gesture and clearly has the support of at least one member of the United squad, but unfortunately pales into insignificance against the damage which has already been done.

In other Leeds United news, the club are in a race against multiple Premier League rivals for a highly-rated youngster.