Haaland and Odegaard of Norway participate in protest for the World Cup in Qatar

The Norwegian players ushered in their quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by protesting the Gulf state’s alleged treatment of workers before starting their first match against Gibraltar on Wednesday.

The Norwegian team, including Arsenal loan from Real Madrid Martin Odegaard and Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, wore jerseys that read “Human rights, on and off the pitch” as they lined up for the match, which they later won 3- 0.

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On Thursday, FIFA said it will not discipline Norway for human rights jerseys.

FIFA’s disciplinary code states that players and federations may face disciplinary action in cases of “using a sporting event for demonstrations of a non-sporting nature”.

However, FIFA said it will not open a case against Norway, continuing a more relaxed policy it displayed at the 2018 World Cup towards women campaigning for access to stadiums in Iran.

“FIFA believes in freedom of expression and in the power of football as a force for good,” the governing body said in a statement on Thursday.

The Qatar World Cup organizing committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Norway has one of the best chances in recent times to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1998, but a move to boycott the tournament, started by top-notch club Tromso, has recently accelerated in the country. .

Tromso has asked the Norwegian soccer federation to consider boycotting the World Cup following an investigation by the British newspaper The Guardian that 6,500 migrant workers had died in workplace accidents since the tournament was awarded to Qatar in 2010.

In response to the Guardian report, the Qatari government said that a “very small percentage” of more than 1.4 million expatriates in the state had passed away between 2011 and 2019.

The government statement said it had taken steps to improve the health and safety of workers over the past two decades and had imposed punishments on business owners who violated safety regulations.


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