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CRIME

Norway’s economic police call for boycott of Qatar World Cup

The head of Norwegian police unit for economic crime Økokrim has urged the country’s national football association to boycott next year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Norway's players pose for a team photo wearing t-shirts showing a pro-human rights slogan ahead of a World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification match. The Nordic nation's senior economic crime investigator on October 28th called for a boycott of the Qatar finals.
Norway's players pose for a team photo wearing t-shirts showing a pro-human rights slogan ahead of a World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification match. Photo: SAVO PRELEVIC / AFP

The head of Økokrim – in English, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime – also called for other countries to skip next year’s football tournament.

“Sport must learn that corruption has a consequence,” Pål K. Lønseth said in an interview with newspaper VG.

“Based on the viewpoint of crime prevention, it is obvious that Norway should boycott the World Cup in Qatar. The entire world of football should,” Lønseth said.

Qatar was awarded the World Cup by international governing body FIFA in 2010. A number of corruption accusations and scandals have since emerged about the process which landed the Gulf state with the prestigious event.

In Discovery documentary film The Men Who Sold The World Cup, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter conceded that the governing body did not always follow rules when awarding the tournament.

“FIFA is not corrupt. People in FIFA were corrupt,” Blatter says in the documentary.

Of the 22 officials who awarded Qatar the tournament in 2010, 16 have since been suspended, charged or given prison sentences, according to VG.

“Sport must understand that we are going to see more corruption during the awarding of events if we don’t face the consequences of existing systems not having been good enough to prevent it,” Økokrim’s leader said to the newspaper.

“This is the view of Økokrim and of myself,” he added.

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CRIME

Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

Norwegian police said Monday they had arrested two alleged accomplices of the suspect in a June shooting that killed two people in Oslo on the sidelines of Pride celebrations.

Two more arrested for suspected involvement in Oslo Pride shooting

The two suspects were arrested on Sunday in Oslo suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”, the Oslo police said in a statement.

One is a Somali man in his forties, the other a Norwegian in his thirties — both of them known to police. Their identities were not disclosed.

In the early hours of June 25, a man opened fire near a gay bar in central Oslo during celebrations linked to the city’s Pride festival.

The shooting killed two men, aged 54 and 60, and wounded 21 others. Immediately after the shooting, police arrested Zaniar Matapour, a
43-year-old Norwegian of Iranian origin, on suspicion of carrying out the attack.

The new arrests bring the number of people implicated in the attack to four, as Norwegian police announced last week they were seeking another suspect linked to the shooting.

On Friday, Oslo police announced that they had issued an international arrest warrant for Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, a 45-year-old Islamist with a prior conviction, who is also suspected of “complicity in a terrorist act”.

“The police still believes Bhatti is in Pakistan,” a country with which Norway has no extradition agreement, police said Monday.

“To ensure the best possible cooperation with the Pakistani authorities, we had Oslo police officers in Pakistan a short time ago,” it added.

According to police, they have not yet had direct contact with Arfan Bhatti but have spoken to his Norwegian lawyer, Svein Holden, and say they expect the legal proceedings in Pakistan to take time.

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