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Netherlands to auction World Cup shirts to support migrant workers

The shirts worn by the Netherlands team during the World Cup will be auctioned to support migrant workers in Qatar, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) said on Monday.

The KNVB is one of the few football associations to criticise human rights and working conditions in Qatar, where migrant workers and foreigners make up the majority of the 2.8 million population.

After consultation with the players, the KNVB has decided the proceeds from the online auction will be used to improve the situation of migrant workers, the KNVB said on its website.

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“It has not escaped anyone’s notice that facilitating the tournament has had a huge impact on migrant workers in Qatar,” Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk said.

“They have worked on stadiums, infrastructure and hotel accommodation under very harsh conditions. We will remember that during all our activities there. It is clear to everyone that those conditions really need to improve.”

“We hope that our presence will contribute to the changes currently underway,” Van Dijk added.

“Much has already been done from the boardrooms to improve the situation of migrant workers. But we also want to make a concrete contribution from the dressing room.”

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The Netherlands team will also take time in Qatar to meet a group of about 20 migrants to talk about their working conditions and to give them the opportunity to join in the squad training.

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