— Published 9 September 2021

Sweden gives up on Qatar tour

Qatar 2022

Swedish footballers will not see Qatar. At least not before the 2022 World Cup. The Swedish Football Association announced on Wednesday, September 8th, that the national team has cancelled its usual winter tour of the Gulf state because of the long-running debate about the condition of migrant workers employed on the next World Cup’s construction sites. The decision to abandon the tour, which has become a ritual for the Swedish national team since 2019, was taken in consultation with the clubs in the professional league. “There is now a consensus among the clubs against the tour to Qatar,” explained the federation’s president, Håkan Sjöstrand. “We will look for an alternative. But it is certain that the January tour will not take place in Doha this year.” Sweden’s decision, taken at a time when the 2022 World Cup qualifiers are being played, comes as no surprise. Along with several other Scandinavian countries, including Norway, it has been fighting FIFA for months to obtain improvements in the living and working conditions of migrant workers in Qatar. Last June, Norway even went so far as to put the idea of a boycott of the 2022 World Cup to a vote at an extraordinary congress. But the project was rejected by a large majority.