Norway have led the highest-profile attacks on Qatar’s human rights record, but they will still play the qualifying competition
Norway’s FA (NFF) has confirmed that the national team will not boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Previously, the national team had worn T-shirts in protest over the human rights record of the host nation.
Meanwhile, a vote was triggered by top-flight side Tromso, who tabled a motion that the national team should not attempt to qualify.
It was confirmed on Sunday by the NFF board that it had succeeded in preventing the national team from boycotting the competition. Instead, it will propose a 26-point plan to FIFA and the Qatari authorities that should be implemented.
In a statement, it said: “Sunday’s extraordinary federal meeting spent many hours considering the Qatar issue. 368 voted in favour and 121 voted against the NFF board’s proposal.”
Furthermore, it has been confirmed that Sandar IL put forward a proposal that the NFF should work for more countries to join Norway in pressuring Qatar to improve their human rights record. This was passed by a majority of 437 to 29.”
How did it come to this?
This issue was brought to the fore by Tromso, who motioned in March: “Tromso IL thinks it is time for football to stop and take a few steps back. We should think about the purpose of football and why so many love our sport. That corruption, modern-day slavery and a high number of workers’ deaths are the fundament to our most important tournament, the World Cup, is totally unacceptable.”
Furthermore, Norway’s players took to the field prior to a World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar all wearing T-shirts emblazoned with: “Human rights – on and off the pitch.”
Head coach Stale Solbakken explained to TV2: “This is a little bit what we have been talking about, to put the focus on some of that that has been a discussion off the pitch. The boys were keen to do this and I am here as an example of that.”
Meanwhile, Germany wore T-shirts that spelled out “Human Rights” before they played Iceland and the Netherlands have also protested.