Source: Barry Gendenning, The Guardian 

Vocabulary in context (Merriam Webster):  get behind  phrasal verb to support (someone or something)


While whatabouting Newcastle fans who decorate their Social Media Disgrace Twitter avatars with photos of Mohammed bin Salman and the national flag of Saudi Arabia might not realise it, it is actually possible to get firmly behind your football team while feeling decidedly conflicted by the consequences of them doing well. On Tuesday night in Copenhagen, for example, Denmark fans will be cheering on their team as they seek to qualify for next year’s Human Rights World Cup, even though huge numbers of them feel their players should not play in any tournament hosted by Qatar.

Of course, to even entertain the notion of boycotting the finals of a tournament, one first has to qualify for them and Denmark could do so later. Having won all seven of their qualifiers, scoring 26 goals and conceding none in the process, the Danes’ progress through Group F could scarcely have been more serene. A win over Austria will guarantee their passage to a tournament their players have repeatedly and openly criticised for some time. 

Back in March, before a game against Moldova, their players wore T-shirts bearing the slogan “football supports CHANGE” following reports that thousands of migrant workers have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the tournament. In the interests of pacifying the put-upon Fiver Lawyers, we should probably point out the the country’s government have repeatedly defended their working conditions. More recently, Denmark captain, Ballon d’Or nominee and living saint Simon Kjær stated that while he and his teammates were happy for the Danish FA (DBU) to deal with the “political struggles off the field”, he and his teammates remain emphatically against the HRWC finals being held in Qatar.“

As captain, I must say that we players have not chosen the [Human Rights] World Cup 2022 to be played in Qatar and we are very critical of the conditions we see in the country,” he said. “Of course, we continue to fully and firmly support the DBU’s critical line towards Qatar. We players have several times publicly shown our position in relation to the [HRWC] in Qatar, but now we have to keep the focus on the game on the field.” Should Denmark win later, Kjær, his teammates and their fans are entitled to enjoy a party but don’t expect to see any of them dancing around the Parken Stadium wearing tea-towels on their head.

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