The football community in Norway has been fiercely critical of FIFA’s decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and has also slammed Qatar’s abuse of human rights as they build up the biggest event in the sport next year. On Sunday, the football clubs in Norway will decide whether they will boycott next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The Norwegian Football Federation has been under severe pressure from grassroots activists regarding Norway’s involvement in the show-piece FIFA event. As a result, they have called up an extraordinary congress meeting in order to decide whether to participate or boycott next year’s World Cup.
Both sides have been active and I’m very uncertain about the result.said the President of the Norwegian Football Federation Terje Svendsen.
Spokesman of the Norwegian Supporters Alliance Ole Kristian Sandvik did not mince words while expressing his feelings towards next year’s World Cup in Qatar. It will ‘unfortunately be like playing on a cemetery’, he said while using a word that has frequently been used by those advocating for Norway’s boycott from the Games.
Norway have not qualified for a major international tournament since Euro 2000 and currently occupy the fourth position in their World Cup qualifying group. Qualification could prove to be a difficult task for the Norwegian side but the result of the vote might influence the rest of the campaign for Norway as well as its star forward Erling Haaland who is one of the hottest properties in Europe right now.
The movement against Qatar began when a Norwegian club Tromso IL spoke out against the human rights abuses in the country in February.
We can no longer sit and watch people die in the name of football.said the club in a statement.
The administration in Qatar has been slammed for their reckless disregard of human rights and ill-treatment of migrant labour, many of whom are involved in the construction and infrastructure of the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.
There have been several reports that employees have been exploited and forced to toil for extremely long hours in dangerous conditions with the promise of making good money.
While Qatar continues to insist that they constantly promote worker welfare, nearly 49 percent of Norway’s population are in favour of a boycott of the World Cup whereas 29 percent are against it. This was reported by newspaper VG earlier this week.
Norway’s national team has already showed its stance and protested against the World Cup in Qatar wearing shirts that carry the message ‘Human rights on and off the pitch’ prior to kick-off. Countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have also followed suit.