Norway decides against Qatar World Cup boycott
Norway, which has not qualified for a major international competition since Euro 2000, is currently fourth in its World Cup qualifying group.
AFP , Sunday 20 Jun 2021

Star forward Erling Braut Haaland and his Norway teammates wore these t-shirts before a World Cup qualifying match. AFP
Norway's football community on Sunday voted against boycotting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar despite pressure from its grassroots over alleged human rights abuses of migrant workers in the Gulf state.
At an extraordinary congress called by the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF), 368 delegates voted for a motion rejecting a boycott while 121 were in favour.
In the run-up to the vote, Ole Kristian Sandvik, spokesman of the Norwegian Supporters Alliance (NSA), said the matches in the Gulf state in 2022 will "unfortunately be like playing on a cemetery," using a term commonly employed by opponents of Norway's participation.
Norway, which has not qualified for a major international competition since Euro 2000, is currently fourth in its World Cup qualifying group.
So although qualification seems an uphill task, the result of the vote could have had an impact on whether Norway and its star Erling Braut Haaland -- one of the hottest properties in world football -- continued to play qualifying matches.
The movement calling for a boycott began when the Tromso IL club spoke out against alleged human rights abuses in February.
"We can no longer sit and watch people die in the name of football," the first division club said.
Qatar has faced criticism for its treatment of migrant workers, many of whom are involved in the construction of stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, with campaigners accusing employers of exploitation and forcing labourers to work in dangerous conditions.
Qatari authorities meanwhile insist they have done more than any country in the region to improve worker welfare.
A spokesman for the Qatari organisers put the number of deaths on the construction sites at "three" since 2014, with another 35 having died away from their workplaces, challenging the heavy toll reported by some rights groups.
Nearly half of Norwegians, 49 percent, are in favour of a boycott, while only 29 percent are against, according to a poll published by newspaper VG on Wednesday.
Tom Hogli, a former professional footballer turned public relations officer for Tromso IL, told AFP: "There is no doubt that this World Cup should never have been awarded to Qatar.
"The conditions there are abominable and many have lost their lives," he added.
- Boycott hard to achieve -
Feeling the pressure from grassroots campaigns, the NFF referred the matter to an extraordinary congress which on Sunday brought together its eight-member executive committee and representatives of 18 districts and hundreds of professional and amateur clubs.
Discussions revolved around the findings of an expert committee which, with the exception of two members representing fans, had already also come out against a boycott.
Committee chairman Sven Mollekleiv had warned ahead of the meeting that a boycott was unlikely because "you need a critical mass behind it, an opposition that calls for it in the country, the UN to put pressure on the authorities, the business world, the trade unions and civil society to put pressure on it in the long term".
Rather than a boycott, the committee had recommended 26 measures to consolidate and further the gains made in Qatar but also to ensure that FIFA doesn't become complicit in so called "sportswashing" -- the polishing of a country's image through a major sporting event.
Norway's national squad has already protested conditions in Qatar, but stopped short of calling for a boycott.
Before recent games, Borussia Dortmund star Haaland, captain Martin Odegaard and their teammates have worn t-shirts with slogans like "Human rights on and off the pitch."
FIFA argue that awarding the hosting of the World Cup in Qatar has opened the door to social progress.
"We know there is still work to be done, but we need to recognise the significant progress achieved in a very short time," FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in May.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)
Search Keywords:
World Cup-
Short link:
Recommended by
05:00 Tokyo 2020 Day 2 summary: Egyptian shooter Shaban fails to reach 10M air rifle.....
00:21 Mosimane says Ahly to sign South African player
20:46 PSG coach Pochettino extends contract by 1 year to 2023
19:31 Turkey and Greece search for missing after migrant boat sinks
19:01 Egyptian sprinter Bassant Hemida pulls out of Tokyo Games due to injury
18:27 UN tells Iran to fix water crisis, stop crackdown
17:55 Nigeria jails 10 pirates over ship hijacking
15:46 'Real prospect' 1998 Omagh bombing was preventable: North Irish judge
15:10 Manchester United sign Sancho on five-year deal from Dortmund
14:22 Turkey: Boat carrying 45 migrants sinking in Aegean Sea
13:43 Great Barrier Reef avoids UNESCO 'in danger' listing
12:54 Benzema tests positive for virus, delays start with Madrid
12:48 Taliban claim of controlling 90% of Afghan border is 'absolute lie': Govt
12:23 Son extends contract at Tottenham, says 'easy' decision
11:09 At least 100 US athletes unvaccinated as Olympics begin
09:58 Macron in Tokyo for Olympic opening ceremony
21:38 Wasteful Ahly held by NBE Club in Egyptian League
20:59 Match facts: Ahly v NBE club (Egyptian Premier League)
18:47 Smith Rowe signs new long-term deal with Arsenal
17:57 Former UN rights chief to lead Israel-Palestinian abuses inquiry
16:19 Tajikistan tests combat readiness as Taliban advances
15:27 More than half of European adults fully vaccinated
15:21 Australia shocks Argentina 2-0 in men's Olympic soccer
14:58 Kessie gives Ivory Coast a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia
14:57 Tennis: Djokovic knows 'history is on the line' at Tokyo Olympics
12:54 France thrashed by Mexico in Olympic opener
12:35 Saudi Arabia denies Pegasus spyware allegations
12:28 Egypt U23 coach Gharib commends display after goalless draw with Spain
12:19 Top US official heads to China to seek 'guardrails' in tense ties
20:01 Preview: Euphoric Ahly turn attention to domestic league after African triumph.....
Readers Picks
Most Viewed
1. Tokyo 2020 Day 1 summary: Egyptian rower Abdel-Khalek El Banna qualifies for Quarterfinals
2. Macron in Tokyo for Olympic opening ceremony
3. At least 100 US athletes unvaccinated as Olympics begin
4. Egyptian sprinter Bassant Hemida pulls out of Tokyo Games due to injury
5. Tokyo 2020 Day 2 summary: Egyptian shooter Shaban fails to reach 10M air rifle final, Badminton Mixed Doubles lose to China
6. Preview: Egypt face Portugal in handball, swimmer Osman kicks off Olympic campaign
7. With muted ceremony and empty stadium, Tokyo Olympics begin
8. Swimming butterfly Farida Osman takes another shot at Olympic medal
Ahram online
© 2010 Ahram Online.
Find us on Google+Find us on facebookFind us on twitter
HomeEgyptBusinessOpinionWorldArts & CultureSportsLife & StyleHeritageBooksAnalysisFolkMultimedia