Helle Thorning-Schmidt: That is why official Denmark should go to the WC in Qatar

‘Football fans can with a clear conscience support the Danish men’s national team, and the official Denmark team for the World Cup.’

This is how former Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt begins a speech in Berlingskewhere she, in her capacity as chairman of DBU’s ethics committee, ‘Governance and Development Committee’, gives a number of reasons why official Denmark should go to the WC in Qatar.

She emphasizes first of all that the World Cup in football should never have been located in the desert state and calls it ‘one of the biggest scandals in recent times’, but she also calls for dialogue and believes that you do not create change by staying away.

“Actually, I believe more in getting involved. Travel there, trade, use social media, get our trade union and human rights organizations out there and talk to people,’ she writes, among other things.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt encourages Danish politicians to go to Qatar and talk about human rights.
Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard

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Helle Thorning-Schmidt points out that, as far as she knows, there are no progressive forces that recommend a boycott, and that she, as chairman of DBU’s development committee, has spoken to the Danish trade union movement and Amnesty International, who, according to her, have both done a great work to communicate what is happening in Qatar and push for the positive changes.

She adds that in this regard they have also not heard of any desire for a boycott from the Qatari citizens who are trying to bring about change.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt also believes that DBU must do as much as they can to show where we stand – and that so far she is very happy with what they have done. Here she mentions, for example, that there has been dialogue with several football associations about a migrant worker centre.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt finally states that the national team players and national coach Kasper Hjulmand should not be held responsible for the final round placement, but that it is instead the task of the politicians to get on the field and start the dialogue about human rights.

Since 2019, Helle Thorning-Schmidt has been chairman of DBU’s so-called Governance and Development Committee, whose task is to set the direction for DBU’s work with openness, transparency and development.

When she got the position, it sounded from the former prime minister in one press release:

“My ambitions are for DBU to be in the absolute elite when it comes to Good Governance, social responsibility and development work, and I will work hard to achieve that.”

Below you can listen to the latest episode of BT’s podcast ‘What we’re talking about’:

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