In response to the human rights abuses in Qatar, FIFA commissioned Professor John G Ruggie of Harvard University to recommend how to embed respect for human rights across FIFA’s global operations. His comprehensive report “‘For the Game. For the World.’ FIFA and Human Rights” is available at the following website: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/content/download/79736/1789834/version/1/file/Ruggie_humanrightsFIFA_reportApril2016.pdf.
The scope of the report is wide. It invokes UN Guiding Principles and recommends that FIFA adopts a clear and coherent human rights policy and implements robust implementation procedures “across the full range of its activities and relationships” (page 9). It specifically mentions relationships with member associations and gives as an example of areas requiring change the abuse of women’s human rights in football. Clearly, however, the report can be used much more widely – in particular to highlight what needs to be done in Palestine/Israel. Reference to this report will enable activists to emphasise that boycott is not about politics (the standard retort of football associations), rather it’s about human rights.