Sunday 18 April 2021

MPs call for king and prime minister to stay away from World Cup in Qatar

The Krestovsky Stadium in Qatar. (Picture via Wikipedia)

The king and prime minister should not attend the World Cup in Qatar if the Netherlands qualifies for next year’s tournament, MPs have decided.

A motion by Socialist MP Sadet Karabulut was supported by the GroenLinks, Labour (PvdA) and D66 parties and passed by a majority of MPs.

Karabulut said the government should not be represented because of ‘appalling conditions’ for migrant workers building the stadiums, which have led to around 6,500 deaths.

The motion is not binding on the government and caretaker foreign affairs minister Stef Blok has said nations would do better to use the World Cup to ‘put further pressure’ on the Gulf state to improve conditions for workers.

ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers and his D66 counterpart Sigrid Kaag told NOS earlier this week that the Netherlands should consider boycotting or withdrawing from the tournament. ‘The ground that the stadiums are built on is drenched in blood,’ Segers said.

The Dutch will begin their qualifying campaign on March 24 against Turkey in Istanbul.

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