A total of 16 players from Australia's men's football team have hit out at FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar ©Getty Images

Players from Australia's men's football team that are set to compete at the upcoming FIFA World Cup have criticised host Qatar's human rights record in a video message.

A total of 16 members of the Australian squad feature in the three-minute video which sees them each read a section of the joint statement.

The players call on Qatar to decriminalise same-sex relationships and establish a migrants' resource centre.

"There are universal values that should define football - values such as respect, dignity, trust and courage," said Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

"When we represent our nation, we aspire to embody these values."

Ryan joins Nick D'Agostino, Cameron Devlin, Mitchell Duke, Denis Genreau, Craig Goodwin, Jackson Irvine, Mitch Langerak, Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Andrew Redmayne, Kye Rowles, Adam Taggart, Danny Vukovic, Alex Wilkinson and Bailey Wright in reading out parts of the statement.

The players said that they felt the need to "speak out about the situation in Qatar" after listening to groups including Amnesty International, FIFA, the Supreme
Committee for Delivery and Legacy which is overseeing Qatar 2022 and the migrant workers based in the Middle East nation.

Although the players acknowledge the progress made for workers in Qatar including the partial dismantling of the kafala system and introduction of a minimum wage, they claim that the implementation of reforms remain "inconsistent" and required "improvement".

"We have learned that the decision to host the World Cup in Qatar has resulted in suffering and harm for countless of our fellow workers," the statement from the Australian team read.

"These migrant workers that have suffered are not just numbers.

"Like the migrants that have shaped our country and our football, they process the same courage and determination to build a better life.

"As players, we fully support the rights of the LGBTI+ people, but in Qatar people are not free to love the person they choose.

"Addressing these issues is not easy and we don't have all the answers.

"We stand with FIFPRO, the Building and Woodworkers International and the International Trade Union Confederation in seeking to embed reforms and establish a lasting legacy in Qatar

"This must include establishing a migrants' resource centre, effective remedy for those who have been denied their rights and the decriminalisation of all same-sex relationships.

"These are basic rights that should be afforded to all and will ensure continued progress in Qatar.

"This is how we can ensure a legacy that goes well beyond the final whistle of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

"One that football can be truly proud of."

A statement has also been released by Football Australia where the national governing body stress that the country’s participation at the FIFA World Cup will "gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of some important matters and help affect change globally and domestically".

Qatari authorities have been criticised over its labour laws and treatment of migrant workers ©Getty Images
Qatari authorities have been criticised over its labour laws and treatment of migrant workers ©Getty Images

"We acknowledge the significant progress and legislative reforms have occurred in Qatar over recent years to recognise and protect the rights of workers, and we encourage all stakeholders to continue this path to reform," the statement from Football Australia read.

"However, we have also learned that the tournament has been associated with suffering for some migrant workers and their families."

Football Australia said it had also been working closely with LGBTI+ communities to "continue strengthening our inclusive and welcoming environment in our game throughout Australia".

"As the most multicultural, diverse, and inclusive sport in our country, we believe everyone should be able to feel safe and be their true authentic selves," the governing body added.

"Whilst we acknowledge the highest levels of assurances given by HH Amir of Qatar and the President of FIFA that LGBTI+ fans will be safely welcomed in Qatar, we hope that this openness can continue beyond the tournament."

Qatar has been heavily criticised by rights groups and activists over its labour laws and treatment of migrant workers in the lead-up to the World Cup.

More than 6,500 migrant workers are reported to have died in Qatar since the country was controversially awarded the World Cup in 2010, with 37 of these directly linked to World Cup projects by campaigners.

Human Rights Watch claims that the true figure is likely higher as it does not account for workers from countries other than India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Qatari authorities insist there have been only three deaths in work accidents at World Cup stadiums.

Concerns over Qatar's suitability as a World Cup host have also been raised over homosexuality being illegal and women's rights being restricted.

Australia are set to face France, Denmark and Tunisia in the group stages of the World Cup, which is due to be staged from November 20 to December 18 in Qatar.