Norway players take human rights stand before World Cup qualifier

Norway stepped up their protests about human rights violations in Qatar on Wednesday night as they lined up for their game against Gibraltar with t-shirts bearing the slogan “Human rights – on and off the pitch”.

There has been a debate in Norway in the past few weeks about whether the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) should boycott the 2022 ワールドカップ in Qatar because of the poor working conditions for migrant workers in the country and human rights concerns.

The top-flight club Trømso started the discussion by stating that Norway should boycott the tournament and several other clubs have since followed suit.

Before the World Cup qualifier against Gibraltar, the Norway captain, Martin Ødedegaard hinted that the players would make some kind of statement before the game and when the coach, Ståle Solbakken, met the media 80 minutes before the game he was wearing a t-shirt with the message “Respect – on and off the pitch”.

The players wore the same message during warm-up before swapping to the one saying “Human rights – on and off the pitch.” Solbakken told Norwegian TV2: “This is a little bit what we have been talking about, to put the focus on some of that that has been a discussion off the pitch. The boys were keen to do this and I am here as an example of that.”

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