Published: 23rd November, 2022
Leicester UCU condemns the significant and widespread labour rights violations during the construction of stadiums and preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where discrimination, forced labour, and exploitation of migrant workers has been well-documented by human rights and labour justice organisations. These issues, combined with Qatar’s anti-LGBTQ+ position and the detrimental climate impact of the tournament, have led a significant number of high profile figures to speak out, including Leicester-born former footballer Gary Lineker, and Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer. The UK Labour Party will boycott the 2022 World Cup; a number of local authorities in French cities, including Paris, have refused to broadcast the matches in public spaces. The university’s decision to show the World Cup on campus without comment on these controversial issues is disappointing, and suggests a questionable commitment to the values of justice, equality and environmental sustainability promoted under the banner of ‘Citizens of Change’.