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Harry Kane, captain of the England national football team, said players will use the World Cup in Qatar to highlight “important issues”.

The tournament has been marred with controversy since it was announced that it would take place in the country, where homosexuality is illegal and the LGBTQ+ community is subjected to discriminatory laws.

Amnesty International also released a 48-page report which concluded that certain harmful practices still take place in Qatar, such as withholding migrant workers’ pay and charging them money to move jobs – something the government there has denied.

Kane told reporters that he has discussed these matters with the England team, who will this week compete in friendlies against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.

“We’ve never shied away from important issues, and we’ve always had our opinions and tried to show unity in anything we’ve done,” he explained.

“That’s what will happen now over this camp and the next camp to try to help in any way we can.”

The 28-year-old stated that he will try to unify other national team captains to take a joint stance and use the World Cup to highlight these things.

Kane added: “As players, we didn’t choose where this World Cup was going to be. But what it has done is it has shone a light on important issues which might not have come to light if the World Cup wasn’t there.

“We have to try to help as much as possible to understand the issues and the situations. We’re no experts in that field at the moment in terms of what we know but as always we try to… use our platform to help in any way we can.”

Many football fans have expressed fear over travelling to Qatar to watch the matches, which the England captain addressed.

“As a nation we want our fans to enjoy the tournament as much as we hopefully enjoy the tournament,” Kane added. “And we want them to feel safe and free to watch the games how they please and act how they want to act.

“There’s still a lot of progress to be made. But hopefully all of us … can try to make change with the platforms that we have.”

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place from 21 November to 18 December.