Maltese MEP Cyrus Engerer criticises FIFA for disallowing ‘OneLove’ armbands

 - Local - Nov 24 SHARE ON:

Maltese MEP Cyrus Engerer has publicly voiced his criticism towards football body FIFA and the Qatar World Cup for disallowing the ‘OneLove’ armbands promoting equality.

“Shame on FIFA World Cup to ban the promotion of equality at the World Cup. Our European Parliament will always support equality”, Engerer wrote as he donned the armband in a recent Instagram post.


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The ‘OneLove’ armbands were initially launched back in 2020 as part of an initiative by the Royal Dutch Football Association promoting inclusivity.

Captains from various men’s international football teams including England, Wales, Belgium, Germany, Denmark were planning to wear the bands in protest of Qatar’s laws against same-sex relationships. FIFA then threatened to issue yellow cards to players wearing it, effectively blocking any players from wearing it.

In protest of the decision, Germany’s national team covered their mouths during the team photo to send the message that “denying [them] the armband is like denying [them] a voice.”


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European Parliament approves €18 billion loan for Ukraine for 2023

 - International - Nov 24 SHARE ON:
European Parliament approves €18 billion loan for Ukraine for 2023

On Thursday, members of the European Parliament approved an €18 billion loan to support Ukraine during Russia’s war against the country.

The €18 billion loan will go into supporting essential public services such as the running of schools, hospitals, relocation of housing, macroeconomic stability and restoration of critical infrastructure destroyed by Russian forces and it will cover ‘roughly half of the estimated €2-4 billion monthly funding Ukraine needs in 2023.’


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According to an EP statement, the loan will be disbursed in quarterly instalments which will hopefully keep the country afloat in light of the current conditions.

The loan is also conditional for Ukraine, requiring reforms to strengthen the country’s institutions to prepare it for reconstruction and membership with the European Union.

Following the decision, which was adopted with 507 votes to 38 and 26 abstentions, EP President Roberta Metsola stated that “Ukraine is fighting for European values. The European Parliament and the European Union have shown remarkable solidarity with Ukraine on the humanitarian, military and financial front.”


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FIFA should help compensate families of dead migrant workers, says European Parliament

 - International - Nov 24 SHARE ON:
FIFA should help compensate families of dead migrant workers, says European Parliament

With the 2022 FIFA World Cup having kicked off in Qatar, Parliament deplores the deaths of thousands of migrant workers ahead of the tournament.

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Qatar. MEPs highlight that the Gulf state won the FIFA World Cup bidding process amidst credible allegations of bribery and corruption. They deplore the deaths of thousands of migrant workers primarily in the construction sector who helped the country prepare for the tournament, as well as all those injured.

Describing the corruption within FIFA as “rampant, systemic and deep-rooted”, MEPs also deplore that the process to award the football World Cup to Qatar in 2010 was not transparent and lacked responsible risk-assessment, and underscore how FIFA has seriously damaged the image and integrity of global football.

Parliament urges EU countries, particularly those with large national football leagues, such as Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, to exert pressure on UEFA and FIFA to fundamentally reform FIFA. This would include introducing democratic and transparent procedures when awarding football World Cups and strictly implementing human rights and sustainability criteria for hosting countries.

To protect athletes and fans and put an end to sportswashing, international sporting events should not be awarded to countries in which fundamental and human rights are violated, and where systematic gender-based violence is prevalent.

All victims of World Cup preparations should be compensated

With an estimated more than 2 million foreign nationals making up some 94% of the country’s workforce, the resolution welcomes the fact that, according to the International Labour Organization, the Qatari government has reimbursed USD 320 million to wage abuse victims through the so-called “Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund”.

MEPs regret, however, that many workers in Qatar and their families have been excluded from its scope and call for the fund to be extended to include all those affected since the work related to the FIFA World Cup began, covering also workers’ deaths and other human rights abuses. They also call on FIFA to contribute to a comprehensive remediation programme for workers’ families as compensation for the conditions to which they have been subjected.

Full investigations needed

Acknowledging the important contribution of migrant workers to Qatar’s economy and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Parliament urges the Qatari authorities to conduct full investigations into the deaths of migrant workers in the country and to compensate to families in cases where workers died as a result of their working conditions.

It also supports Qatar’s recent efforts to improve the conditions and rights of workers, which the international community has raised, but calls for the full implementation of the adopted reforms. MEPs deplore the abuse perpetrated by the country’s authorities on the LGBTQ+ community.

This includes the use of domestic laws that allow for LGBTQ+ persons to be provisionally detained without charge or trial for up to six months. The resolution also urges Qatar to strengthen gender equality measures, including abolishing the remnants of the women’s guardianship, while stepping up efforts to increase the representation of women in the formal labour market.

For more details, the resolution will be available in full here. It was adopted by show of hands.


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 - Sponsored - Nov 24 SHARE ON:
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