Norway club launches QR code jersey to defend rights in Qatar

File: A soccer ball seen next to a net. AFP/Roberto Schmidt

OSLO - Norwegian club Tromso IL presented what it called "the world's first football jersey with a QR code" aimed at defending human rights in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

The jersey, developed in collaboration with Amnesty International, features a QR code which, when scanned, takes users to a website with information about human rights and "sports washing", where countries try to clean up their image by organising sporting events.

"By doing this, we hope to spark more discussions, more debate. We want to see more action," said Tom Hogli, a former player now in charge of public relations at Tromso IL as he presented the jersey.

The first division team will don the jersey on Sunday against Viking during the Norwegian league's last match before the winter break.

Tromso said it was the first professional club to seek, last February, a boycott of the World Cup in Qatar to protest against conditions for migrant workers in the emirate.

Qatar has vehemently rejected any criticism, insisting that it has reformed its labour laws and introduced a minimum wage.

The idea of a Norwegian boycott of the World Cup had gained some momentum in the Scandinavian country early this year, but its federation ultimately voted against the idea in June. 

Norway has since failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Amnesty International has acknowledged the measures taken by Qatar, but has urged it to halt abuses against migrant workers, many of whom are involved in the construction of the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure.


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