Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland could be banned from the FIFA World Cup. Such strict action could be taken by FIFA against Norway, the country which Haaland represents. This is according to the report from the Norwegian outlet NRK.
The issue started when the Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) decided to protest against the Qatar World Cup. NFF is considering the prospect of boycotting the 2022 World Cup as a protest against the human rights violation happening in Qatar.
If NFF decides to go with a boycott, FIFA is looking at taking action against them. This will involve a ban for Haaland and his team from the 2026 World Cup as well.
WORLD CUP FILLED WITH CONTROVERSY
The 2022 FIFA World Cup has been under a cloud of controversy from the beginning. There were accusations of corruption when the Arab country was selected as the host of the World Cup. Multiple investigations were launched to find more about the allegations, though an internal committee of FIFA cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing.
However, a bigger issue with the Qatar World Cup is the human rights issue. There is huge criticism of how the country is treating the workforce involved in the construction and preparation for the tournament. There are instances of human rights abuse, unsafe working environment, forced labor reported.
Multiple news agencies have highlighted the human rights violations happening in the Arab nation and have requested FIFA to change the venue. The Guardian reported that more than 6000 workers died in Qatar after the country was awarded the hosting rights.
NORWAY TO BOYCOTT
Nations and the footballing community have also expressed their displeasure in Qatar hosting the World Cup amidst such human rights violations. Norwegian Football Federation was one among the many Football Federation that protested against the issue. During one of their World Cup qualifiers, the team wore a T-shirt with the message “Human rights on and off the pitch”. Teams like Germany and the Netherlands also showed their protest against the inhumane treatment of workers in Qatar. Multiple players, managers, and former players also came out against the issues.
However, Norway is planning to go one step further. The general opinion in the nation is to boycott the tournament altogether and the Norwegian Football Federation will decide upon their decision after their meeting. Thus there is a chance that Norway will pull out of the tournament altogether to raise awareness of the issue.
FIFA on the other hand will not take the boycott nicely. The governing body could ban Norway from the 2026 World Cup as a response, while also imposing a hefty fine. All this could mean that Haaland and the Norway team could miss out on the upcoming two World Cups.
HAALAND AND THE GOLDEN GENERATION TO MISS THE WORLD CUP
For Norway, the country is going into its golden generation of players. They currently have players like Martin Odegaard, Jens Petter Hauge, and Alexander Sorloth who are young and are playing for top teams in Europe and is lead by the poster boy Erling Haaland. He has already established himself as one of the best young players in the world.
The nation already missed out on Euro 2020. Boycotting the World Cup would mean that FIFA can ban them from the 2026 World Cup as well. Thus Haaland and the golden generation will have to wait till 2030 to play in a World Cup.
It will be a shame if one of the best players in the World will not be playing at the most important tournament of the sport. But it will be an even bigger disappointment if FIFA takes action against nations like Norway instead of fixing the human rights issue in the World Cup.