Sport

Red Lions dribble around human rights

No question for the Ministry of Sports to deprive the Luxembourg football team of a (possible) participation in the World Cup in Qatar. Sport is one thing, politics another.

No question for the Ministry of Sports to deprive the Luxembourg football team of a (possible) participation in the World Cup in Qatar. Sport is one thing, politics another.

Not every day that Dan Kersch encroaches on Jean Asselborn’s ground. But, when asked about the participation of Luxembourg footballers in the next FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Minister of Sports had to make an exception. So getting involved in foreign affairs in place of his LSAP colleague … Because what about the country’s participation in a state that has little regard for respect for human rights? Dan Kersch assumes: “Regarding the political component, the Luxembourg government follows the human rights situation in this country (and in general in the Persian Gulf region) and it also systematically addresses this issue in its bilateral exchanges. “. And no question that this problem interferes in the sporting sphere.

On Wednesday, in a parliamentary response to Socialist MP Cécile Hemmen, the minister even mentioned Amnesty International to support the government’s position. Even the NGO admitted that the boycott of the competition would have no effect on respect for international conventions related to respect for humans, whatever their gender, religion, sexuality or origins.

So, if they qualify, the Roud Leiwen will therefore be able to tread the lawns of Qatari stadiums with peace of mind. According to the principle retained by Dan Kersch that on the (non) respect of human rights by Doha it was better to be “in the attention and the dialogue”, than ignorance and silence. And it will be so visibly until the whistle which will mark the start of the competition at the end of November 2022.

But before the problem of conscience really arises for Luc Holtz’s players, there is still a ticket for Qatar to go and get. The recent home defeat (1-3) against Portugal did not help the Luxembourg eleven’s business. And this even if the 98th in the FIFA rankings had achieved the feat, a few days before, against Ireland (0-1). Access to the 2022 competition will therefore be played out during the next qualifying matches. To know :

  • September 1st : Luxembourg / Azerbaijan (scheduled at the new Stade de Luxembourg)
  • September 4 : Serbia / Luxembourg
  • October 9 : Luxembourg / Serbia
  • 12 october : Portugal / Luxembourg

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