The Hoffenheim website boycotts matches due to human rights issues

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The Bundesliga club announced on Thursday that the Hoffenheim club website will not publish any news on the World Cup in Qatar due to the country’s record on human rights abuses.

Qatar, Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, has faced strong criticism from human rights groups over the years, particularly regarding its treatment of migrant workers, who, along with other foreigners, comprise a large portion of the country’s population.

Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state, while Qatari laws discriminate against women and LGBT+ people, according to Human Rights Watch.

During past World Cup matches, Hoffenheim has regularly provided coverage to fans, especially regarding the club’s international players, and will not do so this time, according to the club’s media department.

Hoffenheim said coverage cannot be provided without discussing important non-sporting issues such as human rights.

“All of these aspects play a role in simply not wanting to report in a carefree manner,” the club said in a statement.

“In our opinion, a celebration interpretation based purely on the sporting aspect without looking at the wider picture of where this so-called football festival will take place is not permissible.

“But we cannot provide the analytical feedback required for coverage of a sporting event from several thousand kilometers away.”

Qatar’s government says its labor system is still functioning, but denies allegations in an Amnesty International report that thousands of migrant workers are being exploited.

On Wednesday, the English Football Association (FA) told the families of migrant workers in Qatar who were injured or killed while building infrastructure for the World Cup.

The FA also said it would urge FIFA to introduce new labor protection laws in the Gulf state and a center to provide advice and assistance to migrant workers.

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