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14 hours ago, SportLightning said:

Well, there's a lot for these broadcasters ahead for this World Cup.

No doubt about that. And there's more promos worldwide forthcoming, especially in Europe, we know.

Canada Soccer follows the Socceroos' lead on human rights, workers' rights, and inclusivity in the Qatar 2022 World Cup leadup in only its second ever FIFA World Cup. Good for the Canadians too:

https://www.tsn.ca/canada-soccer-addresses-issue-of-workers-rights-inclusivity-in-world-cup-host-qatar-1.1870068

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"While strides have been made in strengthening protections for workers through the Qatar government’s labour reforms, we encourage all partners to continue the dialogue ensuring these reforms translate to tangible improvement in protections for workers' rights and inclusivity across the country beyond the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022," a statement from Canada Soccer read.”

"We believe that a legacy of this tournament should be to inspire and encourage further improvements in this area, not just in Qatar but across the entire region."

 

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Moving away for now from the incoming TV promos and statements appealing for Qatari society to get progressively with the program, we just now got the first serious Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup video game info in what would serve as the last EA Sports FIFA edition in FIFA 23. Before the mutual parting of the ways between EA Sports and FIFA before the latter becomes EA FC next year as it hits November 9. Graphics and matchday experience are great and we'll get a strong idea of what the official Qatar 2022 FIFA television presentation will be like. Comes off...a bit disappointing to me. We, unfortunately, are not going to get the full World Cup qualification journeys in all confederations that we enjoyed back in the 2010 and 2014 editions and had the teams' qualifying kits and then the ones they changed to for the tournament itself. Only 15 nations that didn't qualify like Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Ukraine, and Romania are included with the main 32. Not the full 203-210 member nations excluding Russia. Plus, only TWO stadiums from the 2022 edition instead of the 8 featured in the actual game are used. Even the 2018 World Cup downloadable version had all 12 stadiums from across Russia. You would think by now DLC would cover loads more info than a hard copy ever would. Are FIFA and EA Sports serious? Doubt it. Quite underwhelming, if you ask me. Fearing the women's version would act more like this as far as the Australia-New Zealand qualification mode goes: no full 195-207 nation women's qualification mode there to look forward to there when that comes:  

 

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Beyond all the glitter that is being put into our eyes during the next weeks, this report from Switzerland here reveals the dark side of it all (once more):

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/-project-merciless---how-qatar-spied-on-the-world-of-football-in-switzerland/48022952

It‘s a long read but the headline already captures the essence.

I have no doubt that other sinister regimes are handling their sportswashing operations with the same methods. And that‘s why good, independent journalism is needed and not just multiplicators of stupid PR who arr willingly get paid for that.

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Some bad news for defending World Cup champions Les Bleues from France: Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante will both miss this upcoming World Cup edition due to injury. Pogba is still recovering from a left knee injury (torn miniscus) with Juventus in July, and Kante is sidelined with a hamstring injury for four months during play with Chelsea. But big blows, to be sure, but France is still talented and loaded. May not repeat though:

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/12735193/paul-pogba-france-midfielder-will-miss-world-cup-after-injury-setback-with-juventus

https://www.espn.com/soccer/chelsea-engchelsea/story/4774906/france-chelsea-star-ngolo-kante-to-miss-world-cup-out-for-four-months-with-hamstring-injury

One thing I forgot to mention about the FIFA 23 World Cup update mode: it'll arrive on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC, but, unfortunately, FIFA 23 Legacy Edition on Switch will not be getting the update. But FIFA Mobile will obtain it a day earlier on November 8. Switch owners will only have the standard edition.

I mean, for a game that will be the final one under the FIFA banner, you would assume with both World Cups right around the corner, EA Sports FIFA production team would put out all the stops with everything but the kitchen sink to satisfy the fans' wishes like they experienced back in the early 2010s. But didn't. Maybe those will be updated later as DLC, but I severely doubt it:

https://www.ign.com/articles/fifa-23-world-cupt-2022-mode-release-date-switch-version-left-out

 

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Back to the 2022 FIFA World Cup promos. Italy and the Azzurri may not be once again be involved in the World Cup (and I'll discuss that soon), but RAI hopes that won't dampen national interest in the event. Although I think it will to a point. RAI is the exclusive Italian home for the 2022 FIFA World Cup (TV, online, and radio) with all 64 games broadcasting from the Italian public broadcaster and presents an animated TV Mondiali Qatar 2022 promo showing soccer as exaggerrated near-superheroes (with a taste of manga style) playing the game inside a nondescript stadium:

An extended and fuller version of the above from RAI with showing off Qatar, using the colors of the national flag and sand for the nation and its landscape. Again, with no Italy in it again, RAI narrator focuses on soccer's and the World Cup's appeal, plays, and emotions. It'll be shown exclusively on RAI 1, RAI 2, RAI Sport, RAI Radio 1, RAI Play, RAI Radio 1 Sport, and RAI 4K. Had they qualified, there will be more focus on them: 

Brand new promo and very nice that hit hours ago from TyC Sports. It's at it again. This time showing where TyC Sports Argentina is on during World Cup time whenever Argentina's soccer team scores, it brings Argentinians together en masse as they gather to spontaneously celebrate and embrace when that does. In schools, at a fire station, at work, a drug store, at apartments, bars, barbershops, plazas, and even in the air. TyC Sports will be there:

 

 

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Speaking to French news agency AFP, Marri criticised the push for money for the migrants who worked on the infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup, including to those injured or the families of the dead.

"This call for a duplicative FIFA-led compensation campaign is a publicity stunt," said Marri.  We have dealt with and resolved a lot of cases.  Every death is a tragedy but there are no criteria to establish this fund. Where are the victims? Do you have the names?"

—————————————————-

“The vast majority of migrant workers who have now returned home to countries like Nepal or Bangladesh are unable to access Qatar’s current scheme.”

 

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“An investigation carried out by Swiss broadcaster SRF revealed how Qatar allegedly funded a $387 million (£340 million/€388 million) intelligence operation, called "Project Merciless", to spy on critics that it feared could jeopardise the nation holding the tournament.”

“American firm Global Risk Advisors, founded by former Central Intelligence Agency operative Kevin Chalker, and computer hackers in India were reportedly used by Qatar to gather information.”

 

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“Government data showed that 15,021 non-Qataris have died in the country between 2010, when Qatar won its bid for the hosting rights, and 2019.”

“However, Amnesty International has claimed that adequate investigations did not take place into the causes of death, leaving many of them unexplained.”

“In Hertha Berlin's fixture against Bayern Munich at the Olympiastadion, the home fans displayed a banner which read "15,000 deaths for 5,760 minutes of football - shame on you."

“Meanwhile, supporters of the defending champions had their own banner with an identical message as they watched their side win 3-2.“

 

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On 11/2/2022 at 11:42 AM, StefanMUC said:

Beyond all the glitter that is being put into our eyes during the next weeks, this report from Switzerland here reveals the dark side of it all (once more):

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/-project-merciless---how-qatar-spied-on-the-world-of-football-in-switzerland/48022952

It‘s a long read but the headline already captures the essence.

I have no doubt that other sinister regimes are handling their sportswashing operations with the same methods. And that‘s why good, independent journalism is needed and not just multiplicators of stupid PR who arr willingly get paid for that.

All of which is part of the absurdity of the reported FIFA letter the other day telling participating nations to keep away from politics during the toilet. Erm, memo to Mr Infantino - your organisation dragged politics into this World Cup with its bizarre host nation decision 12 years ago so don't think anyone will listen to your whining now.

In many ways it's amazing to think we're only two weeks out from the start of this tournament because, here in England at least, nobody seems to be bothered about it at the moment. There is no excitement, no sense of anticipation or anything like what you'd normally see for a major tournament. I sense from the protests I saw at Bundesliga games yesterday that we are not alone in being lukewarm at best about it all.

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Haven't read the the SRF investigative report in full yet, very interesting though so far, but will as get closer to the World Cup's start, likely well ahead of it--and will get my longstanding thoughts on Qatar very soon at that moment.

BeIN Sports MENA presents the Arabic promo for the very first 2022 FIFA World Cup game between hosts Qatar and Ecuador live Sunday, November 20 at 14:00 GMT and 17:00 Saudi Arabia time at Al Bayat Stadium. Set to be aired BeIN Sports' 1 Max, 3 Max, 5 Max, and on its 4K channel with all of its BeIN Sports' 2022 FIFA World Cup coverage sponsors and the countdown to end it. All Arabic channels. As you can see, this promo has all of Doha golden with the World Cup trophy hugely prominent in it:

From the Czech Republic's TV Nova comes its own FIFA World Cup 2022 spot mixing anticipations, fan moments, and action scenes with star players' illustrations, World Cup winning glory, and multicolored splashes of paint, some with a Doha skyline background. No narration here because the soccer certainly speaks for itself. Games can be seen on NOVA, NOVA Action, and Voyo:

Vietnam's VTV has its own promo that largely uses the official Qatar 2022 TV intro but uses action from the last two World Cups and fan shots. VTV and VTV Go app plans to show all 64 games live involving all 32 teams. Also presents VTV's domestic coverage sponsors:

 

 

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Roster time! For 2022! First up Brazil! Announced a couple of hours ago. Neymar of course headlines this--although I really and seriously disagreed with his endorsement of Jair Bolsonaro leading up to the election

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Brought back 39-year old Dani Alves to the Selecao, the big story on this roster. Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli is also in. But Liverpool's Robert Firmino is the biggest omission; he hasn't played for Brazil since winning the Copa America and did not feature from behind the bench in their subsequent friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia. Fellow Arsenal team-mate Gabriel Magalhaes also misses out. So the Gabriels are not having a great day today.

https://theathletic.com/3771891/2022/11/07/brazil-squad-qatar-world-cup-firmino-martinelli/

But their Arsenal teammate Takehiro Tomiyasu gets named to Japan's 2022 World Cup squad when announced on November 1, the first of the 32 teams to do name their squad. Midfielder Genki Haraguchi and forward Yuya Osako, both of whom appeared at the previous World Cup in Russia, left off the list. Hajime Moriyasu has called up a number of players with fewer than 10 senior caps, including Nagoya Grampus winger Yuki Soma, Celtic forward Daizen Maeda and Cercle Brugge forward Ayase Ueda. Meada and Ueda were among 13 players, including overage ones, who played on Japan's men's Tokyo 2020 Olympic team, also coached by Moriyasu:

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h01487/

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2022/11/01/soccer/international-soccer/japan-2022-world-cup-squad/

https://www.sportingnews.com/au/soccer/news/japan-world-cup-squad-2022-players-national-team-roster-26/jpuxo8qjq8qbsbweqgynuv4u

https://www.arsenal.com/news/tomiyasu-named-japans-world-cup-squad

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“The 86-year-old spoke with the Swiss newspaper group Tamedia in his first major interview since being acquitted with Mr Platini in July of financial misconduct at FIFA after a trial at federal criminal court.”

"It's a country that's too small," Mr Blatter said of Qatar, the smallest host by size since the 1954 tournament in Switzerland.”

  • “Sepp Blatter said he voted for the United States to host this World Cup”
  • “Mr Blatter claimed that the former UEFA boss was pressured to vote for Qatar by then French president Nicolas Sarkozy.”
  • “Mr Blatter noted growing concerns about Qatar's human rights record.”

 

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"They have to accept our rules here," Salman said, in an excerpt of the interview. "(Homosexuality) is haram. You know what haram (forbidden) means?," he said.

When asked why it was haram, Salman said: "I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind."

“The interview was then immediately stopped by an accompanying official. Qatar's World Cup organisers, when contacted by Reuters, declined to comment.”

“World soccer's ruling body FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.”

"Obviously these comments are terrible," Germany's interior minister Nancy Faeser, who visited Qatar a week ago, said on Tuesday.”

 

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8 hours ago, AustralianFan said:

"They have to accept our rules here," Salman said, in an excerpt of the interview. "(Homosexuality) is haram. You know what haram (forbidden) means?," he said.

When asked why it was haram, Salman said: "I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind."

“The interview was then immediately stopped by an accompanying official. Qatar's World Cup organisers, when contacted by Reuters, declined to comment.”

“World soccer's ruling body FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.”

"Obviously these comments are terrible," Germany's interior minister Nancy Faeser, who visited Qatar a week ago, said on Tuesday.”

 

UGH!!! :angry: Right in league with religious-minded conservatives and fascists here who claim that's a sickness, particularly in men.

Nice heads up forthcoming: US Soccer will announce the 2022 USMNT World Cup roster in a 1-hour reveal party that's in-person and invite only in New York City at Brooklyn Steel tomorrow live at 4pm US/Canada/Mexico CT exclusively on ESPN2 and ESPN+, entities that no longer carry the US broadcasting rights to the FIFA World Cup. We can easily see Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, and Weston McKenzie to named to it by head coach Gregg Berhalter:

https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2022/10/us-soccer-federation-to-host-us-mens-national-team-world-cup-roster-reveal-party-on-nov-9-in-nyc

https://espnpressroom.com/us/press-releases/2022/11/espn2-and-espn-present-u-s-mens-national-team-roster-for-qatar-2022-on-wednesday-nov-9-at-5-p-m-et/

Couple of discussions and analysis on who will make the Team USA roster and some questions about it: 

https://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2022/11/8/23444700/ssfc-roundtable-staff-picks-for-players-in-and-out-for-the-usmnt-world-cup-squad

 

We don't know who will fully make Canada's first World Cup team roster in 36 years. It'll be announced after its final friendly versus Japan. The likes of Alphonso Davies, Attiba Hutchinson, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Milan Borjan, Alistair Johnston, Dane St. Clair, Sam Agubuke, Jonathan Davis, Jonathon Osorio, Stephen Vittorio, Estaquio, Kamala Miller, Junior Hollett, and Charles Andreas Brimm will be in that 26-player roster. And who will be omitted. One Soccer's Josh Deming projects who head coach John Herdman will select and make the best formations and skills in this video. Goalie Maxime Crepeau and defender Scott Kennedy, both due to injury, will not participate in Qatar: 

UPDATE: CBC says Canada Soccer and John Herdman will announce the roster Sunday:

 https://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/canada-soccer-to-reveal-world-cup-roster-sunday-1.6643769

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1 minute ago, Durban Sandshark said:

UGH!!! :angry: Right in league with religious-minded conservatives and fascists here who claim that's a sickness, particularly in men.

Nice heads up forthcoming: US Soccer will announce the 2022 USMNT World Cup roster in a 1-hour reveal party that's in-person and invite only in New York City at Brooklyn Steel tomorrow live at 4pm US/Canada/Mexico CT exclusively on ESPN2 and ESPN+, entities that no longer carry the US broadcasting rights to the FIFA World Cup. We can easily see Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, and Weston McKenzie to named to it by head coach Gregg Berhalter:

https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2022/10/us-soccer-federation-to-host-us-mens-national-team-world-cup-roster-reveal-party-on-nov-9-in-nyc

https://espnpressroom.com/us/press-releases/2022/11/espn2-and-espn-present-u-s-mens-national-team-roster-for-qatar-2022-on-wednesday-nov-9-at-5-p-m-et/

Couple of discussions and analysis on who will make the Team USA roster and some questions about it: 

https://www.starsandstripesfc.com/2022/11/8/23444700/ssfc-roundtable-staff-picks-for-players-in-and-out-for-the-usmnt-world-cup-squad

 

We don't know who will fully make Canada's first World Cup team roster in 36 years. It'll be announced after its final friendly versus Japan. The likes of Alphonso Davies, Attiba Hutchinson, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan, Milan Borjan, Alistair Johnston, Dane St. Clair, Sam Agubuke, Jonathan Davis, Jonathon Osorio, Stephen Vittorio, Estaquio, Kamala Miller, Junior Hollett, and Charles Andreas Brimm will be in that 26-player roster. And who will be omitted. One Soccer's Josh Deming projects who head coach John Herdman will select and make the best formations and skills in this video. Goalie Maxime Crepeau and defender Scott Kennedy, both due to injury, will not participate in Qatar: 

UPDATE: CBC says Canada Soccer and John Herdman will announce the roster Sunday:

 https://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/canada-soccer-to-reveal-world-cup-roster-sunday-1.6643769

I agree.

The Qatari Government and homophobic laws which smash human rights of LGBTQI people is horrendous.

Hope that somehow law reform happens sooner than if there was no World Cup.

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The USMNT 2022 World Cup 26-player roster just revealed well over three hours ago in NYC! Henry Bushnell tweets that the many of these players were made aware of their roster inclusion actually on Sunday via FaceTime (for the most part). This is out of a USA record 38 players overall. Lots of emotion involved when there will always be, as with any team, some players getting the short end of the stick. Some are actually off to Qatar in a matter of hours. Given Berhalter's consistency and messaging, the vast majority of the players is no surprise whatsoever, have you been paying attention. Mostly was expecting. Tim Ream and Haji Wright are surprising selects as the former hasn't played for the USA in over a year:

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https://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2022/11/berhalter-names-26-player-usmnt-roster-for-2022-fifa-world-cup

https://sports.yahoo.com/usmnt-world-cup-roster-2022-usa-berhalter-221801354.html

There were some surprises and stunning omissions, as with any World Cup-bound team: 19-year old Ricardo Pepi, who scored more Team USA goals during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying than anybody else not named Christian Pulisic (3 immense goals), is out. So are Middlesbrough goalie Zack Steffen, a major stunner given his professional relationship with Berhalter at Columbus, striker Jordan Pefok, Brandon Vasquez, Reggie Cannon, John Brooks, Sebastian Lletget, Malik Tillman, and Paul Arriola. Jordan Gregg Berhalter says these omissions are "in some of the cases it's more about what we have [on our roster and their form at their clubs against levels of opposition] than what we don't have". Those who were omitted indeed have compelling cases. Miles Robinson, Sam Vines, Daryl Dike, and Chris Richards surely been on the squad had they not get injured. His goalie pecking order for Qatar is Turner, Horvath, and Johnson

https://www.si.com/soccer/2022/11/09/usmnt-world-cup-roster-snubs-berhalter-steffen-brooks-pefok-pepi

https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-states-usa/story/4795467/usa-2022-world-cup-roster-led-by-pulisic-mckennie-pepi-steffen-miss-out

Meanwhile down under...

Yesterday, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold sprung some stunning announcements and omissions for his 26 Qatar-bound players, including that of regular Socceroo and his son-in-law Trent Sainsbury, being out of Qatar. Makes for interesting interactions come Christmas when it's over. To be fair to Arnold, Sainsbury suffered for his "scratchy form" in the Q-League and "noticeably struggled" versus New Zealand two months in a friendly. He also axed stars in his "brutal" selection in favor of youth: Tom Rogic, goalie Mitch Langerak (seemed a cinch to make the roster after returning from international retirement), Adam Taggart, and Tilio are among his other casualties. Qualification hero Andrew Redmayne is there. Arnold says he's willing to take and make risks as a coach, and, to that point, he's called up eyeing exciting "teenage sensation Garang Kuol and Olyroos graduates Cammy Devlin, Keanu Baccus, Riley McGree and Thomas Deng are among 17 players named for their debut World Cup, including Scottish-born fan favourite Jason Cummings" in his hopes for a multicultural team makeup. Prized young Sydney-born player Christian Volpato is pursuing Italy as his national team while Arnold expresses concern over injuries of Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, and Martin Boyle but hopes they'll be in form. I'm getting the impression Arnold doesn't think the Socceroos will advance out of group play--and likely made some roster mistakes.

TBH, I don't get it with Langerak. Feels like a high-profile humiliation to him after being convinced to come out of international retirement to be a part of this, which makes it worse. Why? No sense whatsoever. Not right. Should've been in. Maybe's he not the style or preference for goalie coach John Crawley, who has a major say for the team:

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/sainsbury-rogic-taggart-miss-out-as-arnold-unveils-socceroos-world-cup-squad-20221108-p5bwhu.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11401079/Whos-whos-Socceroos-Graham-Arnold-drops-Tom-Rogic-Qatar-World-Cup-squad.html

https://wwos.nine.com.au/football/fifa-world-cup-socceroos-squad-2022-players/cd22b8d8-4582-4e3d-ba00-4d15beddedc1

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“Some commentators referred to the complex as akin to Fyre Festival, a fraudulent luxury music festival held in the Caribbean.”

“This 6,000-cabin fan village is situated in an isolated lot between Doha International Airport and Hamad International Airport.”

“There is a metro station, bus stop and plans for a temporary restaurant there, with the first matches only 10 days away.”

“Officials claim as many as 12,000 people could stay there.“

 

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"For me it is clear - Qatar is a mistake, the choice was bad," he told a Swiss newspaper, adding "it’s too small a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for that."

“Of course, Blatter omitted to mention that the main gripe about Qatar’s coup has nothing to do with its size, but it’s medieval stance on human rights, treatment of migrant workers, so many of whom lost their lives helping construct the eight state of the stadiums and necessary infrastructure, and the banning of homosexuality, which until recently was punishable by death.”

“It will be surprising if there are no demonstrations over these iniquities. There are players from several countries, notably England and Australia, who are prepared to make their feelings known, either vocally or by the wearing of armbands.”

 

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"They made a number of migrant labour reforms for the 95 per cent of the workforce that helped build and deliver the World Cup but those reforms were too little, too late and were not fully implemented."

"I want to commend the players including the Socceroos, the German national football team, many players around the world," she said.

"They are unionised and they have spoken up about the right of workers to form unions to strike if conditions are poor.”

"It's really been inspiring to see players, fans and other affected groups engage but for the future they are going to have to demand a seat at the table or we will be facing Groundhog Day where over and over again the most beloved and largest sports events go to very serious human rights abusers."

 

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“The jersey was due to read the message "Human Rights for All", or "Menskeregetteigs for alle" in Danish, however this has been banned by football’s governing body, according to the DBU’s director Jakob Jensen.”

"Today we received a message from Fifa that the training shirt we had thought the players should train in, which says Human Rights For All on the stomach, has been rejected for technical reasons, and we are sorry about that," said Jensen, as reported by DR Sporten.”

 

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