World Cup 2022: Scandinavian associations increase pressure on Qatar

The football associations from Denmark, Sweden and Norway are increasing the pressure on World Cup hosts Qatar and FIFA on the issue of human rights. In open letters to the world federation, DBU, SvFF and NFF demand, among other things, an investigation into the claims of the British daily newspaper Guardian, according to which several thousand World Cup workers were killed in the desert state.

In addition, FIFA should document which improvements have recently been made in Qatar on the human rights issue and how they are checked to ensure that these continue. The world association around President Gianni Infantino must also campaign for the rights of women and sexual minorities, the letter says.

In addition, FIFA is asked to guarantee that players at the 2022 World Cup – as recently as part of the qualification, among other things, the DFB selection – will be able to stand up for human rights.

The desired improvements had not occurred, said DBU director Jakob Jensen: “We call for action. Now. Better today than tomorrow.” From Sweden it was said: “Human rights must not be restricted in the name of football.” And Norway’s association boss Terje Svendsen emphasized: “We want FIFA to use the time leading up to the World Cup to secure fundamental rights.”

In all three countries a movement of different strengths has formed which calls for a boycott of the final round. The respective associations refuse to allow their national teams to forego the World Cup, but after talks with players, clubs and the fan base, they are pressing ahead with their diplomatic efforts to bring about improvements in Qatar.

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