Before the next FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November 2022, the Danish equipment supplier Hummel unveiled the new jerseys of the Denmark team. In appearance, nothing revolutionary: red for home games, white for the outside. But the brand has also added a third jersey, black. In all three cases, the Hummel logo – rows of arrows down the sleeves, on the side of the shorts and at the top of the socks – as well as that of the Danish Football Federation (DBU) – a button located on the chest of the players – are in the same shades as the clothes. Almost impossible to tell them apart. Outfits that the Danes inaugurated in the League of Nations against Croatia, on September 22, then in red, on September 25, against France, defeated 2 goals to 1 in Copenhagen.
The black of tribute
If the jerseys surprised fans a bit, Hummel waited until September 27 to provide an explanation, via his Instagram account. According to the brand, the outfits express “ a protest against Qatar and its human rights record ». No question of being visible during a tournament that claimed the lives of thousands of people “. “ We support the Danish national team until the end, but that’s not the same as supporting Qatar as the host country », argues the equipment manufacturer. The black was chosen because it is the “ color of mourning » : a tribute to “ migrant workers who built the stadiums ». According to an investigation by the British newspaper The Guardian, released in February 2021, around 6,500 workers died at the tournament sites.
In a press release, the Supreme Organizing Committee of the World Cup hastened to react, “ disputing Hummel’s claim that this tournament cost the lives of thousands ». The organizers also claim to have carried out “ major labor market reforms » in recent years and “ unreservedly reject the trivialization of [leur] sincere commitment to protecting the health and safety of 30 000 workers » who have worked to build the major infrastructure for this World Cup. Finally, they urge the Danish Football Association, with which they believe they have had a “ solid and transparent dialogue » on the matter, to communicate the outcome “ precisely »especially with Hummel.
The fed in support
Except that the DBU supports the initiative of the equipment manufacturer, as confirmed by its spokesperson, Jakob Hoyer, on the Radio4 channel, on September 27: “ For us, it’s a natural extension of the decision that was made last year, when we and our partners said we wanted to go [au Qatar] and play soccer (…). But we are not going to promote the organizers of the World Cup. » As for the jerseys, Jakob Hoyer finds the solution proposed by the equipment manufacturer “ elegant »even if it disassociates itself from the reference to “ grief ». On its site, the DBU recalls that it was not “ disagree » with the organization of the tournament in Qatar, “ deeply controversial »and that if the Danish Parliament had called for a boycott the federation would have complied with it.