Australia swerve rights issues to focus on World Cup
On Monday, Australian players declined to elaborate on previous criticism of Qatar’s human rights record, claiming instead that they were laser-focused on the team’s upcoming World Cup opener against France, the tournament’s reigning champion.
Leading up to the tournament’s commencement on November 20th, the Gulf state has been under under criticism for its treatment of migrant workers, women, and the LGBTQ population.
Last month, 16 Australian soccer players published a video in which they protested human rights violations in Qatar while also noting some positive changes.
The players wrote in the statement, “We have learnt that the choice to hold the World Cup in Qatar has resulted in the agony and in the injury of many of our fellow employees.”
They said they believed in equality for the LGBTQ community, but that individuals in Qatar were “not free to love the person that they chose.”
In response to complaints over the Gulf state’s human rights record, World Cup organisers said that “no nation is flawless.”
At a press conference on Monday, Australia’s Mitchell Duke was asked what he thought the World Cup will leave behind in Qatar. He responded by saying that the players were now focused only on the event.
A striker who appeared in the film remarked, “To be honest I believe we timed things perfectly with what was said,” at the team’s training facility in Doha.
This was done on purpose before we arrived at camp so that we could concentrate only on football once we got here.
The 31-year-old, who plays club football in Japan, said, “So what we said in that video was covered, what should be heard, and now we’re just dealing with football to be honest and it’s not really talked about today.”
Currently, “our major goal” is “representing Australia and doing our job” in the World Cup.
Australia’s only time making it beyond the group stage at a World Cup was in 2006. That event was in Germany.
They will face Didier Deschamps’ France in their first game in Qatar; France is attempting to become the first team to win the World Cup back-to-back since Brazil in 1962.
When asked about their upcoming match against perhaps the greatest talented football team in the world on November 22, Duke claimed that coach Graham Arnold had told them to bring the physicality.
It’s not in the Aussie psyche to back down,” he remarked. Anyone, on our day, is vulnerable to a defeat at the hands of us. There are 11 guys versus 11 players, and I believe that is the mindset we need to have.
When asked about the team’s goals, Duke indicated that advancing out of the group stage was their first aim.
He said, “We simply concentrate on ourselves, show after show, and try to create shows that we don’t regret.” We leave it everything out there on the field, and that’s all we can do.
The Japanese players “dream of playing against these guys,” according to 25-year-old defender Thomas Deng.
To quote, “you always wonder how it would be to face up against them” while watching the Champions League or other European competitions, “to get the chance now, I’m really thrilled to see what will happen.”
For the more latest news on Games, keep on following us here on GamerCottage