Norway used the first World Cup qualifying game to send a silent message about the human rights situation at World Cup hosts Qatar.
Norway showed a message to World Cup hosts Qatar in Gibraltar.
On their shirts it said “Respect – On and off the pitch”.
Norwegian clubs called for a boycott of the World Cup in February.
In Switzerland there are no such boycott demands.
The Norwegian national team used their first qualifying game for the 2022 World Cup to send a silent message about the human rights situation at World Cup hosts Qatar. The new captain Martin Ödegaard, BVB striker Erling Haaland and their teammates wore white T-shirts with the words “Respect – On and off the pitch” when they were warming up before the match against Gibraltar (Norway 3-0 win). on and next to the square). Later they wore similar shirts with the words “Human rights – On and off the pitch” at the national anthem.
The new national coach and former Cologne stale Solbakken also wore one of the shirts. “It’s a little bit about what we talked about, that we want to focus on what has been discussed outside of the field,” he told Norwegian broadcaster TV2. “I set a good example.” Solbakken had already revealed before the game that he and his players had discussed the Qatar issue and agreed on an action. According to Odegaard, the entire team was behind it. Everyone agrees that what happened and is happening in Qatar is not good, the Arsenal FC attacking midfielder said.
No boycott demands in Switzerland
The debate about the controversial awarding of the World Cup to Qatar has been going on in Norway for weeks. At the end of February, a number of Norwegian top division clubs called on the national team to boycott the World Cup if they qualify. The Norwegian Football Association is holding a special meeting on June 20 on the question of a World Cup boycott.
At 20 Minuten’s request, the Swiss Football Association (SFV) commented on a possible boycott: “In Switzerland there are no boycott demands on the part of the clubs. We have been in contact with Fifa and Amnesty International for a long time regarding workers’ rights in Qatar. In principle, like the Norwegian Association, we are of the opinion that more can be achieved sustainably through dialogue than through a boycott. ”
The Nati fan club “Friends of the Swiss National Football Teams” also wrote on request: “We have taken note of the fan boycotts in various European countries and are monitoring further developments. The Amici board of directors will also deal with this issue in due course and form an opinion as a body. For the time being, the focus of our organization is on getting a perspective as to when the international matches of the Swiss national football team can be played with the audience again and we as a club can resume our activities and feel the pulse of the fans again. “
Exploitation of guest workers
The 2022 World Cup was awarded to the wealthy emirate in 2010. The country is repeatedly criticized internationally for the exploitation of guest workers. According to research by the Guardian, more than 6,500 guest workers from five Asian countries have died in the past ten years. Qatar’s government, on the other hand, declares that reforms in recent years have significantly improved the situation of workers. Human rights activists also admit progress, but warn that the reforms are inadequately implemented.
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Human rights situation Qatar Haaland Qatar protest shirt World Cup qualifying game