Norway's Football Clubs To Vote On Qatar World Cup Boycott
Oslo, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Jun, 2021 ) :Will Norwegian football star Erling Braut Haaland stay home or play on what fans have dubbed a "cemetery?" This Sunday, a meeting of Norway's football community will decide whether to boycott next year's World Cup in Qatar.
The games on the pitches in the middle Eastern emirate will "unfortunately be like playing on a cemetery," according to Ole Kristian Sandvik, spokesman of the Norwegian Supporters Alliance (NSA), invoking a commonly used metaphor among opponents of Norway's participation.
So while qualification seems an uphill task, the result of the vote could have an impact on whether Norway and its young star Haaland -- one of the rising stars of world football -- continue to play qualifying matches.
"We can no longer sit and watch people die in the name of football," the first division club proclaimed.
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 campaigners accusing employers of exploitation and forcing labourers to work in dangerous conditions.
Qatari authorities meanwhile insist they have done more than any country in the region to improve worker welfare.
"The conditions there are abominable and many have lost their lives," he added.
In March, a spokesman for the Qatari organisers put the number of deaths on the construction sites at "three" since 2014, with another 35 having died away from their workplaces, challenging the heavy toll reported by some rights groups.
According to Sandvik, the fans feel that the deaths on the World Cup sites would have been avoided "if they had not had to build hotels, railways and stadiums".
Nearly half of Norwegians, 49 percent, now say they are in favour of a boycott, while only 29 percent are against it, according to a poll published by newspaper VG on Wednesday.
The Nordic country's national squad has already protested conditions in Qatar, but stopped short of calling for a boycott.
Before recent Norway games, Borussia Dortmund superstar Haaland, captain Martin Odegaard and the rest of the team have worn t-shirts with slogans like "Human rights on and off the pitch." Other countries, like Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have also followed suit.