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SFA defend decision to play Qatar friendly

Strachan 2

The Scottish FA has moved to explain their position regarding the upcoming friendly with Qatar at Easter Road on Friday. Qatar has been under increased scrutiny and pressure over their human rights record following the decision to name the gulf state hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“It is important to separate this sporting fixture from the serious human rights issues emanating from Qatar,” said an SFA statement

“As noted recently by Amnesty International, it is important that the universal reach of football can be used in a positive manner to highlight inequalities and be a force for good,” continued the statement.

“Qatar’s availability in the United Kingdom represented an opportunity preferable to the few available alternatives on a date that is not on the official Fifa international calendar.

“We are grateful to the Qatar FA for their flexibility during their UK tour.

“We are also cognisant of disturbing reports on the conditions experienced by migrant workers involved in the building of stadia for the forthcoming Fifa World Cup in 2022.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Scottish FA condemns any behaviour that compromises human rights and, in conjunction with the Scottish government, we have already stated our joint offer to provide practical support.

“This was offered after a hugely successful Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow which reiterated Scotland’s ability to host world-class events in a safe and sustainable manner.

“That offer remains open and we have reiterated our position to the Scottish Government in that regard.

“We have been in contact with Amnesty International to outline our position and to ensure positive and productive dialogue in the lead-up to the Qatar match and beyond.”

The match represents a warm-up fixture for Gordon Strachan’s team before their crucial Euro 2016 qualifier away to Republic of Ireland on June 13th.

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