Prince Frederik: Hof announces momentous decision

Prince Frederik is not flying to Qatar for the controversial World Cup. The Court has now confirmed this. The Danish crown prince had previously received a lot of criticism for his evasive answers to questions about human rights violations.

He wanted to appear diplomatic and made a faux pas: at the beginning of November 2022, Prince Frederik, 54, caused a stir during an official visit to Vietnam with his statements about his not-yet-determined trip to Qatar for the World Cup.

When asked about the human rights violations prevailing there, the Crown Prince replied to the Danish newspaper “BT”: “In my world it’s all about sport.” Ouch! Now the court has made a momentous decision: Frederik is not going to the Middle East.

Prince Frederik’s statements about the World Cup in Qatar seem like sheer mockery

The football World Cup in the desert emirate is highly controversial. According to a report in the British daily newspaper “Guardian”, more than 6,500 mostly young male guest workers who helped build the World Cup stadiums have died since Qatar was awarded the bid in 2010. Most recently, the Qatar World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman, 60, caused massive criticism with his homophobic statements in the ZDF documentary “Geheimsache Qatar”, claiming that being gay is “mental damage”.

In this context, Prince Frederik’s diplomatic attempt to dodge journalistic questions about Qatar seems almost like sheer mockery of those affected. In addition to his “I only think about sport” statement, when asked by “Ekstra Bladet” if he was going to the World Cup, he replied: “The Danish team always has my support, no matter where in the world they play”. Another not very elegant sentence.

It is remarkable how little a crown prince can be prepared for such questions, said Jakob Steen Olsen, a commentator on the royal family for the Berlingske newspaper. There were actually only two statements that he would have to remember. Firstly, he should underline the importance of human rights for Denmark. At the same time, he should refer relevant discussions away from himself and to the government.

Officially confirmed: Danish government and Crown Prince are not traveling to the World Cup

After some back and forth, it is now officially clear that Denmark will not send any official representatives to the World Cup in Qatar. The reason for this is that after the election a few weeks ago, no new government was formed. Acting culture minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, 39, told the Ritzau news agency, according to the Berlingske newspaper: “The focus is now on forming a new government. In the meantime, Denmark will not be officially represented at the World Cup in Qatar be.”

Prince Frederik does not fly there either, as Lene Balleby, head of the royal family’s communications department, later confirmed to “Ritzau”, according to “BT”. The royal family is in line with the current government and will follow the rule not to travel to the World Cup, it said.

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