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Wales Footballers “Free To Speak Out” About Qatar Human Rights

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has said players will be free to speak out about issues like migrant worker abuses and LGBTQ+ rights during the World Cup in Qatar.

Mark Evans, FAW’s head of international affairs, told press at a meeting on Tuesday, November 1, that players had been briefed on the host nation's human rights record. Members of the squad raised concerns and were told they had free rein to be outspoken about such topics during the tournament’s press conferences.

Wales manager, Rob Page, has already said the team captain will wear the One Love armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights, regardless of whether Fifa officially approve it.

According to ITV, Mr. Evans confirmed they had not yet heard back from football’s governing body yet on the armband matter, just weeks away from the start of the competition. “We had a briefing with players after the last game with Poland and they were told they will have a forum to speak on any topic they want during press conferences,” Mr. Evans said.

“We are confirmed supporters of the One Love campaign and we’ll be wearing the arm bands. The team is determined to wear them. It’s very important to us,” he added.

Hundreds of migrant workers died while carrying out construction projects in Qatar, much of which human rights organizations claim is in some way linked to World Cup infrastructure.

Homosexuality in Qatar is also illegal but authorities in the country have said that “everyone is welcome” at the World Cup.

Mr. Evans said the team had close links with The Rainbow Wall, the team’s LGBTQ+ supporters group, and had been in communication with the organization in the run-up to the World Cup. He said a “significant” number of FAW staff had chosen not to go to Qatar in person because of the country’s stance on gay rights.

“We will all be going out there with a positive outlook wanting to be a positive force during the World Cup.”

The tournament gets underway on November 20, with Wales facing the US in their first game of the group stages on November 21. Wales will also face Iran and England in Group B.

Read related myGwork articles here:

Peter Tatchell Arrested in Qatar After LGBTQ+ Protest

Qatar 'Arrested And Abused' LGBTQ+ People

Qatar Treatment Of Homosexuals “Absolutely Unacceptable” – DFB Director Bierhoff Takes Aim At World Cup Hosts

England Footballer Harry Kane Backs LGBTQ+ Fans Ahead Of Qatar World Cup

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