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

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

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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