Qatar World Cup organisers apologise after threats to a Danish television crew

Qatar World Cup organisers apologise after threats to a Danish television crew

  • Journalists from the TV2 channel ‘were mistakenly interrupted’
  • ‘You invited the whole world to come here, why can’t we film?’

World Cup organisers have apologised to a Danish television station whose live broadcast from a street in Doha was interrupted by Qatari officials who threatened to break their camera equipment.

Journalists from the TV2 channel “were mistakenly interrupted” late on Tuesday evening, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy acknowledged in a statement. “Upon inspection of the crew’s valid tournament accreditation and filming permit an apology was made to the broadcaster by on‑site security before the crew resumed their activity,” organisers said.

The reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking live to a news anchor in Denmark when three men drove up behind him on an electric cart and tried to block the camera lens.

“You invited the whole world to come here, why can’t we film? It’s a public place,” Tantholdt was heard saying in English. “You can break the camera, you want to break it? You are threatening us by smashing the camera?”

The incident five days before the World Cup starts revisited a subject that has been sensitive for tournament organisers who have denied claims there are strict limits on where media can film in Qatar. Organisers said they later spoke to Tantholdt and also “issued an advisory to all entities to respect the filming permits in place for the tournament”.

Denmark’s football federation has also been one of the biggest critics of Qatar among the 32 World Cup teams over the emirate’s record on human rights and treatment of low-paid migrant workers. They were needed to build massive construction projects since Fifa picked Qatar as hosts in 2010.

Danish players will wear match shirts that have a toned down badge and manufacturer’s logo as a protest in support of labour rights when they play France, Australia and Tunisia in Group D. A third-choice black shirt option has been included as “the colour of mourning” for construction workers who have died in Qatar.

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This is a&nbsp;World&nbsp;Cup&nbsp;like no other. For the last 12 years the Guardian has been reporting on the issues surrounding Qatar&nbsp;2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the&nbsp;treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is gathered on our dedicated&nbsp;Qatar: Beyond the Football&nbsp;home page for those who want to go deeper into the issues beyond the pitch.

Guardian reporting goes far beyond what happens on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.

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Qatar: beyond the football

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This is a World Cup like no other. For the last 12 years the Guardian has been reporting on the issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is gathered on our dedicated Qatar: Beyond the Football home page for those who want to go deeper into the issues beyond the pitch.

Guardian reporting goes far beyond what happens on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.

Photograph: Tom Jenkins

Meanwhile the Norway manager, Stale Solbakken, has accused football of not doing enough to prevent Qatar hosting the finals. Lise Klaveness, president of the Norwegian Football Federation, spoke out strongly about the award of the tournament to the Gulf state at the Fifa Congress in March, and the nation will be sending only one member of staff – an analyst to run the rule over their Euro 2024 qualifying opponents Spain.

Asked about Norway’s opposition as he prepared for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Thursday night, Solbakken said: “I think that first of all Fifa has the biggest failing, given the circumstances back when Qatar was given the tournament [in 2010]. That is obviously the biggest mistake.

“After that, I don’t think football has done enough, I don’t think journalists have done enough. I think you also have been asleep for a long, long time. I think it’s only in the last years that it’s suddenly: ‘Oh, the World Cup is in Qatar.’ The first years after it was given to Qatar, I think the whole world was more or less asleep, including football people and also journalists.”

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