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The KNVB and the World Cup in Qatar

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. Here is the KNVB standpoint on this tournament:

  • 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 improvements. Reporting from groups such as Amnesty International and international trade union umbrella organisations is very valuable in this light. It helps us. These reports are keeping us up to date on specific problems and with that information we can also enter into dialogue with our stakeholders.
  • 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.
  • The KNVB is, of course, against the violation of human rights. The KNVB was one of the initiators of an appeal on FIFA to pay more attention to human rights in countries bidding to host the World Cup. Clear progress has been made in this area: there is now a so-called human rights paragraph on future bid procedures for the World Cup. This paragraph was not yet in place when Qatar was chosen, but with the World Cup hosts firmly in the spotlight, the situation of migrant workers in Qatar has been identified, discussed and also improved on a number of points, according to earlier reports.
  • Together with other federations, the Netherlands Royal Football association is part of the international football community and all FIFA members have committed themselves to participating in World Cup qualifying campaigns and, after qualification, also in the World Cup finals. Since the Second World War, not a single World Cup final tournament has been boycotted for political reasons by any country. Precisely because of the World Cup, many people are now closely watching the situation in Qatar, which goes beyond this tournament.
  • With regard to the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, the KNVB is in close contact with the Dutch embassy there as well as human rights organisations and, at home, with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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