Den bedste måde at fejre fodboldslandsholdets succes på er at blive hjemme.
Congratulations on qualifying for the soccer World Cup, Denmark …
The best way to celebrate the success is to stay home.
I am proud when Denmark is doing well. When an American audience did their best to shout Rune in the US Open match against the tennis giant Novak Djokovic, I got chills. When Denmark is highlighted for its green initiatives, or when the national soccer team qualifies for the World Cup, I beam with pride.
The problem is that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in the state of Qatar, a dictatorship.
And before you say, “Now let’s just enjoy some draft beer and some ´ball and not mix politics into the picture,” then think about your integrity. It is too easy to abdicate responsibility and focus exclusively on one’s own need for entertainment and overlook the strategic interests one thereby supports.
Denmark is usually quite busy telling the rest of the world how amazing our Danish values are. But is there any substance to that if we do not stand up for them when they matter?
I understand, that the easiest thing would be to abdicate all responsibility and without the slightest distaste enjoy the Danish national sport in front of the screen at home or at the nearest sports bar.
There is a lot in the world I would like to close my eyes to. But now that we know what is going on in the host country, we can not just sweep the conditions off with the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s words: “We must separate foreign policy and soccer. And tonight we celebrate soccer, and we will do the same at the World Cup.”
How can we close your eyes and enjoy the game as the Danish football team run around at a stadium that has claimed the lives of thousands of immigrant workers in the construction process? Can one support an event held in a country that does not hold democratic elections and treats girls and women as inferior, lesser beings?
Well, in a little while there will be a Winter Olympics in Beijing, so should we boycott that one, too? Yes, we have to!
Make no mistake. When we say that sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics should not be political, then the regimes where these events are held claim the exact opposite. We allow them to show all their bells and whistles to promote their ideology and worldview as we cawe and submit – how does that make our democratic worldview look?
Telling the world how how amazing our Danish values are comes with a responsibility. Those words mean nothing if we do not stand up for them when it truly matters – even if it means we can not follow our beloved sport.
If we can not stand up for who we are and what we represent for something as simple as a sporting event, then it sounds somewhat hollow when we self-righteously tell countries all over the world that they must stand up for democracy and human rights.
(Partly Google Translate)