The Swedish football team has abandoned its winter tour in Qatar after criticism related to accusations about the fate of migrant workers in the emirate in view of the 2022 World Cup, the Swedish Federation announced on Wednesday (September 8th).
After a discussion Tuesday evening with the representative of the Swedish clubs, “it is clear that there is a consensus among the clubs against organizing this tour in Qatar“Federation President Håkan Sjöstrand said in a statement.”We will look at an alternative. What is certain is that the January tour will not take place in Doha, Qatar.“, he indicates.
❌ No January tour in Qatar 2022
– Swedish Football (@svenskfotboll) September 8, 2021
This winter tour, organized since 2019, was cringe even as the Swedish federation, along with other federations from the Nordic countries, is campaigning with Fifa to obtain improvements for migrant workers in Qatar.
The president of the Stockholm AIK, Robert Falck, described the project on Tuesday as “idiot“, on Swedish television TV4.
The emirate is regularly condemned by international NGOs for the treatment of hundreds of thousands of workers, especially from Asia, on the major construction sites of the World Cup that it will organize in November and December 2022.
In a letter dated September 1 signed by Mr Sjöstrand with his Nordic counterparts, the latter once again called on Fifa to “put more pressure on Qatari leaders“after the publication of a report by the NGO Amnesty International.
According to the latter, “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers in the past decade, despite evidence linking premature deaths to unsafe working conditions“.
In February, Qatar fiercely denied information from the British daily The Guardian that more than 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since the 2010 World Cup was awarded. Doha, however, refuses to make public the exact number of deaths.
The Nordic countries appear to be the most critical among the world federations against this controversial tournament. Norway had gone the furthest in submitting a possible boycott of the competition to a vote at an extraordinary congress in June, but the congress ultimately ruled out the option by a strong majority.