US coach Gregg Berhalter doubts that the World Cup boycott would be effective


US coach Gregg Berhalter said when it comes to protesting World Cup host Qatar’s 2022 human rights record, he prefers to attend and “raise awareness” rather than boycott.

As early as March, the men’s national teams of the Netherlands, Norway and Germany wore jerseys to protest against the treatment of workers in Qatar. Reportedly, work-related incidents and deaths have been rife since the 2010 World Cup was awarded to Qatar.

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Before the World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar, Norway wore shirts that read “Human rights on and off the field” and there were rumors that they might boycott the competition. The next day, Germany wore shirts with the words “Human Rights” on them. The Netherlands then wore shirts that said “Football supports change”.

Norway has since announced that it will not boycott the competition.

Before the Gold Cup group stage final against Canada on Sunday, Berhalter was asked if the US would adopt a similar stance.

“There are protests like in Norway, and that’s a possibility,” he told reporters during a Zoom call. “But I also think we need to draw attention to the situation and I think that boycotting the World Cup might not do that much. But getting involved and raising awareness of the situation could possibly help.” [that]. So our job is to train the players, educate the staff about what is going on and develop our own message on how we want to make change. “

The US men’s team has previously worn shirts that, in conjunction with the phrase “Be The Change”, promote racial equality.

Speaking of the game, Berhalter said he was “happy” for the group of Canadian players who have made progress this cycle. Canada made the final round of World Cup qualifiers in CONCACAF for the first time since 1998, and a draw or win in Sunday’s game would lead Group B at the expense of the US team.

“I’m happy for the group, for the players,” he said. “We know a lot of players, I have a lot of respect for these guys. It was nice to see how they have grown over the last five years and they have got to that point and I think it’s a good team.

“I think they made some adjustments to the formation that really show their strengths and then you look at the evolution of their pool of players, similar to ours, they are young players and they really took the next step and are up international level. ” . “

Earlier in the day, defender Reggie Cannon said he was “100 percent back” from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the USA’s first two games.

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