Norway team makes human-rights statement before WC qualifier


MALAGA, Spain — Norway’s national team used its opening qualifying game for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to make an apparent statement about human rights abuses in the Gulf nation.

Players lined up before kickoff against Gibraltar wearing T-shirts over their national-team jerseys that had the message “HUMAN RIGHTS” followed by “Respect on and off the pitch.”

Earlier, the players wore T-shirts with the message “RESPECT” followed by “On and off the pitch” during the warm-up. Norway coach Stale Solbakken also donned a T-shirt with that message.

Qatar is under scrutiny because of its discriminatory laws and conditions for the migrant workers who are helping to build infrastructure for the World Cup, which starts on Nov. 21 next year.

Some of Norway’s top-division clubs, including Rosenborg and Tromso, have called for a boycott of the World Cup. Solbakken said ahead of the Gibraltar game, which is taking place in Malaga, Spain, that his team “can do things that the world might see” to put pressure on Qatar.

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