Despite calling next year’s World Cup in Qatar a “wrong decision”, Denmark’s sports minister said on Wednesday that boycotting the tournament was not the answer.
Speaking a day after Denmark qualified for the tournament, Enne Hlsbow-Jrgensen told broadcaster TV2 that the team would go to the World Cup.
Qatar has faced criticism amid reports of discriminatory laws and conditions for migrant workers as the Gulf country prepares for next year’s tournament.
No country has announced plans to boycott the World Cup, although Norway is facing calls from some clubs, including Rosenborg and Troms, to do so.
Any country that has qualified for the World Cup and refuses to play will face penalties from FIFA, including fines and a ban on trying to qualify for the next tournament.
Leaving a place in Qatar could mean self-removal from the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico. There will be 48 teams in that tournament, with 16 places going to European teams instead of 13.
FIFA has not yet published rules for the 2022 tournament, although the 2018 edition’s rules call for a fine of at least 250,000 Swiss francs ($290,000) on a federation that has given its team 30 days from the start. previously withdrawn. Teams eliminated in the month before kickoff or during the tournament will be fined at least 500,000 Swiss Francs ($580,000).
In 2010, Qatar won the right to host the World Cup in a controversial FIFA vote that led to a corruption investigation throughout the bidding process. Evidence was not found by FIFA to deny Qatar the hosting rights.
The natural gas-rich emirate has spent billions of dollars to cope with the event by building hotels, a new transportation system and grand stadiums.
Denmark made it to the tournament after beating Austria 1-0 on Tuesday.