Man United duo slam Qatar World Cup – Winnipeg Free Press

LONDON (AP) — Just minutes after finishing the last Premier League game before the World Cup, Manchester United duo Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen have both questioned the decision to host the tournament in Qatar.

Fernandes said the World Cup “should be better organised”, criticizing the tournament schedule and highlighting Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers.

Qatar’s World Cup – which starts next weekend – is the first to be staged in November and December rather than June-July due to the desert nation’s scorching heat in summer. Qatar has also come under scrutiny over its treatment of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who have been needed in the tiny emirate since hosting rights for the World Cup were won 12 years ago. . Amnesty International says dozens of people may have died from apparent heatstroke.

Fulham head coach Marco Silva, left, talks to Manchester United’s Christian Eriksen during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage stadium in London on Sunday 13th November 2022. (AP Photo/Leila Coker)

Qatar’s views on homosexuality – which is criminalized in the country – have also been heavily criticized and Fernandes’ comments indicated that players will not hesitate to speak out about the issues even as the tournament approaches.

“It’s not exactly when we want to play the World Cup,” Fernandes, who plays for Portugal, told Sky Sports after a 2-1 win over Fulham. “We know the surroundings of the World Cup, what has happened in recent weeks, in recent months, people who died on the construction of stadiums. We are not at all happy about that. … We want football to be for everyone, everyone needs to be included and involved in a World Cup because a World Cup is the world. It’s for everyone, no matter who. But for a World Cup it’s more than football, it’s a party for the fans, the players, something that’s a joy to watch, (it) should be done in a better way.”

Eriksen, who will play for Denmark in Qatar after recovering from cardiac arrest in a European Championship match last year, echoed Fernandes’ comments.

“I totally agree with Bruno. There’s a lot of attention on it, how the World Cup went and why it’s in Qatar. Everyone agrees it hasn’t been done in the right way,” Eriksen said. “We are footballers, we play football – politics is something above us to make that decision. Of course, we try to say our thing and do what we can. We want to focus on that, but the change has to come from somewhere else.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Christy J. Olson