Gary Neville has revealed he was surprised to see Harry Kane discuss the human rights issues surrounding the World Cup in Qatar after having tried to orchestrate a move to Manchester City, who are owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group. 

Concerns have been raised over the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar as the nation gets its infrastructure in place to host the biggest footballing event in November (Guardian).

England, who are led by Kane, have qualified for the tournament and have been placed in Group B, along with the United States, Iran and one of Wales, Scotland or Ukraine (depending on the winner of the play-off).

When asked about the human rights issues in Qatar, Kane insisted last month that he and his England teammates would try and shine a light on the issues (BBC Sport).

Neville has now opined that it is unfair to single out Qatar, given that the Saudi Arabian and the UAE governments have similar if not worse human rights records.

The former Manchester United defender told Sky Sports: “If we have a problem with Qatar, then we also should have a big problem with Abu Dhabi. We should also have a problem with Saudi Arabia. 

“When we talk about Qatar and mention workers rights. When we go to Dubai on holiday and a lot of people in this country do. 

“We talk about Saudi Arabia. They are far worse workers rights and human rights issues, at this moment in time than Qatar because of the progress and scrutiny it has made over the last ten years of the World Cup. 

“The reason why I don’t think some of the England players don’t come out. The reason why I was a little surprised about Harry Kane talking about Qatar was that he was willing to play for the Abu Dhabi group from the Manchester City team last summer, which have got similar issues to Qatar.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Gary Neville’s point is a fair one. English football has opened the door for investment from some terrible regimes over recent decades. The conversation about sports washing that is being had at the moment is long overdue.

However, having said that, I do not think it is particularly fair to ask players about the situation as their hands are tied. If Kane had batted the question away, he would have got even more criticism for doing so.

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