Norway football community on Sunday voted against boycotting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, despite pressure from its population over alleged human rights abuses on migrant workers in the Gulf state. At an extraordinary congress convened by the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF), 368 delegates voted in favor of the motion to reject the boycott, while 121 were in favor of it. In the run-up to the vote, a spokesman for the Norwegian Supporters Alliance (NSA), Ole Kristian Sandvik, said the 2022 Gulf State matches will be “unfortunately, like playing in a graveyard”, using a term that will be played in a cemetery. Usually by opponents of Norway’s participation.
The boycott movement began when the Tromso IL club raised its voice against alleged human rights violations 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 militants accusing employers of exploitation and allowing workers to work in dangerous conditions. forced to
Meanwhile, Qatari officials insist they have done more than any country in the region to improve the well-being of workers. A spokesman for Qatari organizers has counted the number of deaths at construction sites at “three” since 2014, with another 35 dying from their jobs, making the number severely under-reported by some rights groups.
According to a poll published by VG on Wednesday, almost half of Norwegians, 49%, are in favor of the boycott, while only 29% are against it. Tom Hogli, a former professional footballer who has become Tromso IL’s public relations officer, told AFP: “There is no doubt that this World Cup should never have been awarded to Qatar. The situation there is very bad and many people have lost their lives.”