Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal hits out at FIFA over staging World Cup in Qatar | Football News

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal says it is “ridiculous” that this year’s World Cup is being played in Qatar, accusing FIFA of taking the tournament to the Middle East for money and commercial reasons.

Van Gaal said FIFA’s reasons for awarding the finals to Qatar, where his side will be competing in the November and December finals, were spurious.

“Now, everyone knows that I find that ridiculous,” he told a news conference on Monday as his side began preparations for friendlies against Denmark and Germany.

“It’s ridiculous that we are going to play in a country – how does FIFA say it? – To develop the football there, to develop it better there. That is b ****** t.

“And how are you doing that? By organizing a tournament in that country. But it doesn’t matter, it’s about money, commercial interests. That’s the main motive of FIFA.

“Why do you think that I’m not a member of the commission of FIFA? Because I have always taken my distance against these kinds of organizations. It’s not right, but I can say this directly about Qatar, but this does not help the world get rid of this problem. “

The friendlies form part of the Dutch preparations for the finals after they qualified last November.

Former Manchester United manager Van Gaal said he is part of a commission within the Dutch FA (KNVB) which meets every month to evaluate the ongoing situation in Qatar with regards to human rights.

The KNVB has been among the few football associations to criticize human rights and working conditions in Qatar.

“The KNVB has never been in favor of holding the World Cup in Qatar and the course certainly doesn’t approve of the way in which migrant workers are treated there,” it said in a statement last year after a visit to the country.

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Sky Sports News’ Craig Slater examined the state-of-the-art facilities in Qatar over the winter ahead of the 2022 World Cup, and the questions over human rights in the country

Qatar has faced international scrutiny over the treatment of workers ever since it won the rights in 2010 to host the first World Cup in the Middle East.

Qatar has said the reported deaths were within the expected range for the size and demographics of the population of workers concerned, and that the mortality rate had consistently declined since 2010 due to health and safety reforms.

Southgate: Absence of some fans in Qatar ‘a great shame’

England boss Gareth Southgate recently signed a contract extension to stay on as manager until the end of 2024.
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Gareth Southgate is upset some England fans will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup

Gareth Southgate admits it is a “great shame” that sections of England supporters will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup this winter and stressed that no one is “complacent” to the issues involved.

Male homosexuality is punishable by a prison sentence, same-sex marriages are not recognized by the government and women’s rights are much tighter than in other parts of the world.

England boss Southgate has said he is now ‘clear’ on the issues of hosting the World Cup in the region and plans to hold talks with his squad ahead of upcoming friends against Switzerland and Ivory Coast.

“I think I’m quite clear on the areas of concern about this tournament,” he said. “The building of the stadiums was the first and there’s nothing we can do about that now. They’re built.

“There are obviously ongoing concerns about the rights of workers and the conditions they live in and those areas.

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Sky Sports News takes a peek inside Qatar’s Lusail Iconic Stadium, which will host the 2022 World Cup final.

“It seems universally accepted that it’s better than it was but not in the position where people think it could be. And maybe policies that have been put in place are not always enforced as they might be.

“Then there are the issues that potentially threaten our fans when they travel: the rights of women and the rights of the LGBTQ + community in particular.

“Sadly, through discussions that I’ve had, I don’t think some of those communities are going to go and that’s a great shame.

“We stand for inclusivity as a team – that’s been the big driver of a lot of the stances we’ve taken in the last couple of years – and it would be horrible to think some of our fans feel they can’t go because they feel threatened or they’re worried about their safety. “

Who still needs to qualify for the Qatar World Cup?

Path A

Scotland vs Ukraine – Thursday, March 24 (7.45pm kick-off) – Postponed until June

Wales vs Austria – Thursday, March 24 (7.45pm kick-off) – live on Sky Sports

Path B

Russia vs Poland – Thursday, March 24 (5.00pm kick-off) – Canceled: Poland given bye

Sweden vs Czech Republic – Thursday, March 24 (7.45pm kick-off) – live on Sky Sports

Path C

Italy vs North Macedonia – Thursday, March 24 (7.45pm kick-off) – live on Sky Sports

Portugal vs Turkey – Thursday, March 24 (7.45pm kick-off) – live on Sky Sports

Play-off finals: Tuesday, March 29 – live on Sky Sports

What is the World Cup format and schedule?

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will feature 32 teams in eight groups of four.

Four matches will be played each day during the group stage, which will run over a 12-day period and see winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16.

Matches will only be assigned to particular venues after the finals draw, so organizers can choose optimal kick-off times to suit television audiences in different countries, as well as supporters out in Qatar.

The finals draw is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 3after the March window for international fixtures.

Unlike Euro 2020, there will be a third-place play-off game on December 17.

Group stage: November 21- December 2
Round of 16: December 3-6
Quarter finals: December 9/10
Semi-finals: December 13/14
Final: December 18

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