German midfielder Toni Kroos believes that nothing will change in Qatar or anywhere else if teams choose to boycott the 2022 World Cup that is being held in the Middle East. This comes in light after Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany staged protests at their recent World Cup qualifiers.
In a study released last month, done by the Guardian, they revealed that 6500 migrant workers have died since Qatar was awarded the World Cup in late 2010. It has seen many fans and critics alike consider boycotting the quadrennial tournament despite the fact that it is the World Cup. Not only that, during their recent World Cup qualifiers, Norway staged protests that highlighted the human rights conditions by wearing t-shirts.
They were, later, joined by Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium with them all doing the same, and reports indicated that there were even talks of boycotting the tournament. But on his podcast, Toni Kroos admitted that boycotting the tournament won’t make too much of a difference because nothing will change. The 2014 World Cup winner did add that awarding the tournament to Qatar is wrong and that football is not solely “responsible for making everything better in the world”.
"What is the point of boycotting such a tournament? Is it really the case that something will improve decisively there? Will the working conditions change? I think not. That means that a boycott would not change much in the working situations. To award the tournament to them, I think it's wrong,” Kroos said on his podcast.
“But 10 years have passed since. Football can and must draw attention to problems, especially with its reach. But football also is not solely responsible for making everything better in the world."
The reported death toll, by the Guardian, is considered to be significantly higher than what the reports indicated and many have put that down to the working conditions. A 2019 report revealed that the intense heat in Qatar played a part and Kroos further touched on the same. The Real Madrid star also added that the workers safety is not guaranteed and that is not done.
"You have to call a spade a spade when it comes to working conditions. It's about many workers from Qatar, but also migrant workers, having to work non-stop in sometimes 50 degree heat. At the same time, they also suffer from malnutrition, a lack of drinking water is insane, especially at these temperatures.
“As a result, safety at work is absolutely not guaranteed, medical care is not there and sometimes some violence is carried out on the workers. All those points are absolutely unacceptable. There can be no two opinions on that,” he added.