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2022 World Cup: Conor Coady says it is not 'too much' to ask to speak about non-football issues

The 2022 World Cup starts in Qatar on Sunday but the build-up has been dominated by concerns about the hosts.

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Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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2022 World Cup: Coady | Sportz Point

The 2022 World Cup starts in Qatar on Sunday but the build-up has been dominated by concerns about the hosts.

Qatar has been criticized for its stance on same-sex relationships, its human rights record, and its treatment of migrant workers.

"We're not politicians," said 29-year-old center-back Coady.

2022 World Cup: England | Sportz Point.

Image- BBC

"We'll never be politicians in terms of the way we look at things but, in terms of what the squad has done over the last few years and how much they've helped people, that comes with the territory.

"You look at Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling and the amount they've done off the pitch in helping people. It comes with being an England player because the lads are so open to speaking to the media and trying to help people as much as possible. It's a great credit to them in terms of how they've gone about it. I don't think it's too much.

"I won't sit here and say the boys know everything because I don't think we do but what we will do is try and help as much as we can. Over the last few years the boys have done an incredible job of it."

He added: "First and foremost we are here to win games but if there is anything on top of that, as I say, we have a mature group."

In February 2021, the Guardian said 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since it won its World Cup bid in 2010.

However, the Qatar government has said the total is misleading, because not all the deaths recorded were of people working on World Cup-related projects.

A recent report by Human Rights Watch said members of Qatar's LGBTQ+ community were detained and physically abused by the country's security services, while a Qatar World Cup ambassador was criticised for saying homosexuality was "damage in the mind".

Qatar's World Cup organizers say that "everyone is welcome" to visit the country to watch football, and that no one will be discriminated against.

Peaceful protests have been planned by some players, while England's Harry Kane and eight other captains of European teams will be wearing 'One Love' armbands to promote diversity and inclusion.

Asked if the players would be taking the knee before games, Coady said: "At the minute, it is not something we have spoken about."

An England spokesperson said the players would discuss whether to take a knee before their World Cup opener against Iran on Monday.

For more 2022 World Cup news, follow Sportz Point.

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