Wednesday, May 18, 2022

‘Unacceptable ways and consequences’ – Norwegian FA president calls out Fifa for giving World Cup 2022 to Qatar

NORWEIGIAN FA president, Lise Klaveness, has called out Fifa for allowing Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

The Middle Eastern country were handed the World Cup in 2010 despite controversy surrounding the country’s human rights record.


Klaveness blasted Fifa for handing Qatar this year’s World CupCredit: GETTY
Klaveness walks away after her speech criticising Fifa's Qatar decision, which she says has 'unacceptable consequences'


Klaveness walks away after her speech criticising Fifa’s Qatar decision, which she says has ‘unacceptable consequences’Credit: AP

Treatment of migrant workers has also been an issue for Qatar and there are concerns from the LGBTQ+ community ahead of the winter tournament.

And at the 72nd FIFA Congress, Klaveness blasted Fifa’s 2010 decision to award the Gulf State this year’s World Cup.

Klaveness said: “In 2010, the World Cup was awarded by Fifa in unacceptable ways with unacceptable consequences.

“Human rights, equality, democracy, the core interests of football, were not in the starting XI until many years later.

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“These basic rights were pressured on as substitutes, mainly by outside voices.

“Fifa has later addressed these issues, but there is still a long way to go.

“The migrant workers injured or families of those who died in the build-up to the World Cup should be cared for.

“Fifa, all of us, must now take all necessary measures to really implement change.


“There is no room for employers who do not secure the freedom and safety of World Cup workers.

“No room for leaders that cannot host the women’s game.

“No room for hosts that cannot legally guarantee the safety and respect of LGBTQ+ people coming to this theatre of dreams.”

Klaveness’ comments were not well received by some, with Honduras FA president Jorge Salomon claiming that “it is not the place” to discuss such issues.

And the Qatar World Cup’s top organiser, Hassan Al Thawadi, has accused the Norway FA president of failing to educate herself on the country’s human rights record.

He said: “Madam president, you visit our country and made no request for a meeting.

“You did not attempt to contact us and did not attempt to engage in dialogue before addressing Congress today.

“I urge everybody, we have always been open for dialogue.

“We have always welcomed constructive criticism, criticism that is based on discussion, understanding the issues and understanding the context of the issues and the progress of the facts on the ground.

“We will always have our doors open for anybody who wants to understand the issues, who wants to educate themselves before passing any judgement.

“On that note, I would like to inform yourselves, as well as the Norwegian Federation and anybody who has doubts about the legacy of this World Cup, that this World Cup is creating legacy.

“We are creating legacy before a ball has even been kicked. The International Labour Organisation has described Qatar’s reforms as historic.

“The International Trade Union Confederation considers Qatar’s updated laws as a benchmark for the region.

“The Building and Woodworkers’ International has compared the safety standards on World Cup sites as equal to those in Europe or North America.

“Remember that a number of these entities that I have mentioned were at one time outspoken adversaries of ours but through taking time to understand the complexities of the situation on the ground and through a shared commitment to improving lives, those who were once adversaries became allies and partners.”

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