She shows courage: the president of the Norwegian Association calls on FIFA to make changes and criticizes the association. In doing so, he disrupted the Congress of Boss Gianni Infantino and dismissed the criticism.
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The Norwegian Association’s president, Lise Klavnes, dismisses criticism by the Qatari World Cup host of their calls for changes in FIFA’s handling of human rights. In a haunting speech at Congress in Doha, the former national player explained that the World Cup was awarded to Qatar eleven years ago “with unacceptable circumstances and unacceptable results”. The head of the World Cup organization, Hassan al-Thawadi, then accused him of not speaking to them in advance.
“I’m not disappointed. It’s not right. We had a lot of discussions with the Supreme Committee (organization committee), we read everything about it,” said Klevness of the German Press Agency in Doha. “We’ve dealt with this topic in depth, we’ve been very well informed.” The World Cup host has been criticized for years because of the human rights situation and the conditions of foreign workers.
“It’s our job to keep the pressure down”
Klavnes stressed that there have been some changes in Qatar, but there is still work to be done. “It is our job to maintain the pressure,” the 40-year-old said.
Klevness also sees the German Football Association as an important partner in FIFA for the goals of greater respect for human rights and diversity. “I know that my statements are supported by the Nordic federations. It is important that we have alliances with Germany, Canada, Australia, all countries,” she said. “Countries that share our ethical point of view.” In the wake of requests to speak at Congress, however, he also acknowledged that the mood in world football is “divided”.
Lise Klaveness: Norway’s football president criticized FIFA at the Congress in Doha. (Source: PA Images/Imago Images)
values should be preserved
From his point of view, it is not about the fact that international football should take place only in Western countries. “The game should be played in Qatar, in Saudi Arabia, in Africa, in China. We shouldn’t be afraid to go to those countries,” Klavnes said.
But then there has to be a process that ensures that some values are preserved. Clavness cited the rights of the LGBT+ community as an example in her speech. He means, among other things, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, as well as human rights, diversity and anti-discrimination.
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