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The World Cup will be held in Qatar in 2022. The opening match will be on 21 November and the final is scheduled for 18 December. This is the KNVB standpoint on this tournament:
We have also read the article in The Guardian with dismay and the figures quoted in it are absolutely appalling. We have discussed the issue extensively in recent days, both within the KNVB and with FIFA, the Dutch government and various human rights organisations.
The KNVB has never been in favour of holding the World Cup in Qatar and of course certainly doesn’t approve of the way in which migrant workers are treated there. These practices are not limited exclusively to World Cup building projects, but happen in all large-scale construction projects. This is a wider problem, but at least it has now taken the spotlight in the run-up to the World Cup. At present, we as a football association have three options for dealing with this:
Abuses like these must never occur again at any future World Cup. In 2014, the KNVB was one of the initiators of attempts to move FIFA to pay more attention to human rights in countries bidding to hold the World Cup. Clear progress has since been made: bid procedures for upcoming World Cups now include a human rights paragraph. Unfortunately, this was not yet the case when Qatar was chosen, but after 2022 we will no longer have another World Cup in a country that doesn’t include international human rights guarantees in the bid procedure.
From a sporting point of view, the World Cup represents the highest stage of football, for both the players and the millions of fans worldwide. The World Cup qualifying campaign has yet to start, but we are fully aware of the problems in Qatar and are helping to make and strengthen improvements. Football has the power to connect countries and peoples, enabling them to enter into dialogue on difficult issues - a process referred to as football diplomacy. This process facilitates international diplomacy and paves the way for discussion on issues such as human rights in places where it is urgent to do so.