On March 31, as FIFA convened its 72nd Congress in Doha, one speaker took a brave stance on the uncomfortable truth about human rights realities in Qatar.
Lise Klaveness, the Norwegian Football Association president, directly called out the past failures of FIFA to protect human rights in the context of selecting FIFA to host the 2022 World Cup. Using the imagery of “the beautiful game,” she noted how “Human rights, equality, democracy, the core interests of football, were not in the starting 11 until many years later. These basic rights were pressured on as substitutes, mainly by outside voices.”
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