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4 Mar 2021

David Harding, The Independent (UK)

Qatar World Cup 2022: Calls for a boycott follow investigation into deaths in host country since 2010; incl. comments from FIFA

"The growing calls for a boycott of the Qatar World Cup," 4 Mar 2021

[A Danish petition against participation in the World Cup] said Denmark should forsake playing in the tournament in protest at the poor human rights’ conditions in the Gulf host nation, as well as Fifa corruption...

the bank which sponsors the Danish team’s training gear, Arbejdernes Landsbank, says it does not want to be associated with the tournament.

“The World Cup in Qatar is a problem,” Peter Froulund, head of branding and communication at the bank says. “We have to decide what is the best way to approach this.”

A final decision on sponsorship will be taken in the summer, said Froulund, but it is “likely” that the bank will withdraw its branding if Denmark... heads to Qatar in November 2022.

The Danish Football Union has said it supports “a dialogue” with Qatar, rather than backing a boycott, unless that boycott extends to “business and diplomacy”, says the DFU’s Jakob Hoyer.

And talk of a boycott has in recent days extended to several top flight league clubs in Norway, including Tromso, who have openly called for the national team to not take part in the tournament...

the last few months have seen the most concerted calls for a boycott. These have increased in the past few days since a report in The Guardian that 6,500 Asian workers have died in Qatar since 2010...

Fifa told The Independent: “We don’t think that a boycott of the World Cup would be the right approach or would serve any useful purpose to address any human rights issues in Qatar...

“To be frank, we actually think that engagement and dialogue is the best way to promote understanding of universal human rights values.”