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Norway's players protest Qatari regime ahead of 2022 qualifier

Norway's players have made their feelings clear on the Qatar 2022 World Cup, by wearing t-shirts ...

Norway's players have made their feelings clear on the Qatar 2022 World Cup, by wearing t-shirts ostensibly aimed at the Qatari regime.

They emerged onto the pitch for their World Cup 2022 qualifying match with t-shirts saying 'Human rights: on and off the pitch.'

The move was pointed as the nation is one of the few considering boycotting the tournament.


Rosenborg - Norway's most successful club with 26 league titles - voted last Thursday night to boycott the Qatar World Cup, should Norway qualify.

202 of the Trondheim club's members voted in favour of the motion, 46 voted against and 8 abstained.

Tromso - promoted to the Norway's top flight, the Eliteserien, last season - were the first club to voice their disgust at the "corruption and modern slavery" surrounding the Qatar World Cup, adding that "It is not at all acceptable". 

They've been joined in preferring a boycott by fellow top-flight clubs Odds Ballklub, Strømsgodset, Viking and Brann.

Norway have been drawn in Group G of the World Cup qualifiers, with the Netherlands, Turkey, Montenegro, Latvia and Gibraltar.

Should they qualify, and a boycott is successfully engineered, it would mean Borussia Dortmund sharp-shooter Erling Haaland would miss the World Cup.

Andre Hansen, Markus Henriksen and Even Hovland (all Rosenborg), Patrick Berg and Marius Lode (both Bodo Glimt) and Sondre Rossbach (Odds Ballklub) are some of the home-grown players recently part of the Norway squad.

Qatar's appalling human rights record has been under the microscope practically since their name was surprisingly revealed by Sepp Blatter as 2022 hosts in 2010.

World Cup

Last month, The Guardian revealed that 6,500 migrant workers have died in the Emirates state since they were awarded the World Cup.

Guardian journalist Pete Pattisson told NPR, "The abuse of migrant workers in Qatar, in Saudi Arabia, in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in the Gulf has been going on for years.

"What the international community needs to do is to step up and demand reform on these widespread abuses. The World Cup is a catalyst for this.

"Qatar chose the spotlight of the World Cup. Everyone in the world loves football, and they don't want to see their sport tainted by workers rights abuse."

Tromso board member Tom Hogli - a former Norway international - told The Athletic this week, "We’ve seen a lot of reports about what is going on in Qatar and we can’t see any improvements that have come from the dialogue and criticism.

"We totally agree on the strategy of dialogue, of pressure and meetings, but we think somewhere we have to draw a line in the name of football, a sport that we all love.

“We think a tournament we own [as part of FIFA] and we are arranging should be done in a better way than it is today.”

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