Press Releases

Hummel, Human Rights, and Danish Football

FIFA Ethics and Regulations Watch are concerned that the Danish football team, taking part in the world cup, is sponsored, and supplied by Hummel a corporate entity that has links to at least two states whose governing regimes have both been criticised by human rights groups such as Amnesty International. Those countries are Saudi Arabia, which is an established market for Hummel who, if that were not bad enough, source goods and materials made in China, there is a risk that these products and the shirts of the Danish players themselves at this showcase event could be produced by exploited Chinese labour.

Modern slavery, a widely reported occurrence in China, and the discrimination faced by marginalised groups in Saudi Arabia is a major problem which we hope action by you will help us address. Many fans, players, and journalists connected to the sport of football are rightly concerned about human rights. Those supporters and interested parties will, like us, want to make sure that any group connected to the beautiful game and its showpiece tournament, the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar does not harm the reputation of the sport and, most importantly, does not profit from business links that are chains for the vulnerable and exploited.

There are also serious concerns surrounding the ethics of Hummel’s ownership and their other business interests. FIFA Ethics and Regulations Watch (FERW) respectfully call on FIFA to ensure that the good name of our sport is protected, and to enhance human rights, Hummel should be removed as a sponsor and supplier of teams in the forthcoming football world cup, until such time as FIFA conducts its own modern slavery audit into Hummel’s business ethics, links, and supply chains to see that they are congruent with anti-modern slavery standards. And renounce any connections with interests that are antithetical to the standards which we expect all to now follow.

FIFA Ethics and Regulations Watch will be conducting further investigations into Hummel and any links they may have that negatively impact human rights.

Human rights and sport can no longer be considered separate from sport, indeed the global community and bodies, including our own want this vital issue to be at the heart of FIFA’s actions. With the date of the world cup soon approaching we demand that FIFA take action to ensure a thorough investigation of these issues.

Below are a number of serious concerns which we have drawn to FIFA’s attention.

Hummel has a store in Riyadh Park in Saudi Arabia:


Also Hummel is made in China where they cannot guarantee that their cotton doesn’t come from the Xinjiang Province where. Hummel came out of 2021 with the best result on both the top and bottom line in the brand’s almost 100-year history. Here, revenue increased by DKK 511 million. to 1.858 billion in 2021.

Over half of Hummel’s clothing production takes place in China, Pakistan and Bangladesh. BBC recently made a report about the conditions in Xinjiang:

The main company behind Hummel is Thornico A/S:

This recent article shows some graphs of their production line and a picture of the Saudi brand store:

The owner Christian Stadil had a scandal when it was discovered that one of his cargo ship was loaded with missiles:

A ship from the Stadil family’s shipping company, Thorco, was stopped in Finland with 69 surface-to-air missiles and 150 tons of explosives in the hold.

It also emerged that a Stadil ship was scrapped at the Indian beach of Alang, which is notoriously know for turning the blind eye to bad working conditions and the environment.

Hummel also pulled back their support for Tibet in 2012 in fears of harming business with China.