The president of the Norwegian Football Federation, Lise Klaveness, has given a speech that is highly critical of FIFA’s decision to hold the World Cup in Qatar later this year. During the celebration of the FIFA congress prior to the draw, Klaveness stated that the organization chose the venue for this World Cup “in unacceptable ways and with unacceptable consequences” and has appealed to “human rights, equality and democracy” . “FIFA has to set an example”, she has claimed.
Klaveness has questioned that there are “companies that do not guarantee the freedom and safety of World Cup workers, leaders that do not accept hosting women’s parties or host countries that cannot legally guarantee the safety and respect of LGBTQ+ people”. Although he has admitted that “FIFA has addressed these issues” and has “recognized its responsibilities under the UN principles” by including “human rights criteria for the selection of future World Cup venues”, he considers that “there is still much to do ”.
The Norwegian leader has also asked to “care for the injured migrant workers and the families of those who died in preparation for the World Cup.” “We have to move from policies to impact”, she defended.
Human rights organizations have been warning for years about the appalling living and working conditions of the migrants employed in the construction of the facilities for the World Cup in Qatar. Entities such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch have documented dozens of deaths of these workers and have denounced working conditions close to semi-slavery. The country has extensive restrictions on the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and women suffer a great deal of discrimination, under a regime that concentrates all executive and legislative power, in which political parties are not allowed and there are no Parliament elections.
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