Cheering to Qatar (nd current)

Pure joy, no protest: Denmark’s footballers celebrated qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday evening.

Photo: imago images / Lasse Lagoni

The cheering on Tuesday evening in European football was probably greatest in Copenhagen. After Joakim Mähle had taken the lead for Denmark in the 53rd minute, the atmosphere in the sold out Parken Stadium boiled over for the first time. When the final whistle for the Slovak referee Ivan Kruzliak sounded later, there was no stopping 35,000 spectators and the Danish football delegation – With the 1-0 victory over Austria, qualification for the 2022 World Cup was achieved. And in an impressive manner: After eight wins in eight games and a goal difference of 27: 0, the Danes have already been determined as the winners of Group F.

There are still two game days to complete in the European qualification. And the Danish team is only the second after the DFB-Elf to make it to the finals. The most important topic at the world association on Wednesday, however, was the 2030 World Cup. “We have to think big,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino – and brought Israel and some neighboring Arab states into play as joint organizers of the tournament.

The world association has always thought big. Because he often did not consider it necessary to observe the fundamentals, ethics committees and public prosecutors repeatedly investigated the officially non-profit organization Fifa and its leaders. The current president is no different from his notorious predecessor Joseph Blatter. For this reason, too, Infantino’s first trip to Israel at this point in time was probably not accidental. It was certainly not his words. Infantino mimes the peacemaking world politician in the best Blatter manner, because his world association needs more positive news. Because the upcoming World Cup is getting closer and closer – and it is known that it will be played in Qatar.

The suspicion of corruption when the World Cup was awarded to the rich desert emirate in December 2010 is still in the room. It was not until ten years later that a minimum wage was decided for the many foreign labor migrants. Amnesty International still considers their rights to be precarious. Lisa Salza, a spokeswoman for the human rights organization, complained in mid-September that “exploitative employers are not sanctioned by the government.” And last February, the British Guardian reported that more than 6,500 guest workers had died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded. Even more worrying is the fact that, according to Salza, there are efforts to reverse the few reforms. After the tournament, of course.

That is why the organization is against a boycott of the World Cup. “The international attention must be used so that improvements can be made in the long term,” explained Salza. Amnesty’s approach seems alien to the world (association): “We keep influencing Fifa so that it uses its influence and the reforms endure.” So does Peter Peters. “A boycott will not advance the country and its people,” said the interim president of the German Football Association. »Qatar is a country in the midst of change. At the same time, there is still a lot to be done. Together with the entire local soccer family, we want to help strengthen this development and achieve further success. «You can imagine how Gianni Infantino applauds such words with joy.

The FIFA President can also rely on the fact that sport, which captivates billions of people, sidelines the critics. This applies to fans and protagonists alike. In the summer, the Danish footballers and their coach appeared publicly as major critics of the tournament in Qatar. Now Kasper Hjulmand says: »For such a small country it is very difficult to get to a World Cup. It’s a great gift for the association. “

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