The following day, Klaveness reflected on the speech that caused “the entire football world” to open their eyes. In the post, Norway’s soccer president took a firm stance against FIFA and Qatar’s award as a World Cup host nation – prompting World Cup manager Hassan Al Thawadi to react.
Among other things, the FIFA boss expressed disappointment that Klaveness did not call for a meeting or seek to establish dialogue before the congress.
That caused Klaveness to react back.
– You must respect the country where you stand. We have read all of them and are deeply involved in this matter. That is false criticism, we are told. The fact that you have to talk to them concerned first – we’ve done that many times, and with him alone. So what he said was wrong, he told NRK.
– Are you afraid that the speech may negatively affect cooperation with FIFA?
– We were very aware of that before we promoted the message. The goal is not to let go of all tethers meaning we can’t have influence. The goal is to be as clear as possible, but at the same time be part of an important discussion. Now that the message is flying in a different direction, some see it as a breach between the NFF and FIFA, it was definitely not meant to be.
Caused a stir
Klaveness’s speech received a lot of column space in a number of international media.
“FIFA is rebuked in condemning the speech of the president of Norwegian football.”
The two media giants were just a few of those paying attention to the speech by the newly elected president of Norwegian football at the FIFA congress on Thursday. There he did not take kindly to the awarding of the World Cup by the International Football Association to Qatar.
– We cannot ignore calls for change. FIFA should act as a role model. The giving of WC happened in an unacceptable way. Human rights, equality, democracy and core football values - didn’t make the starting eleven until years later, he said in less than six minutes of posting.
– A woman shows where the border is
The speech was also noticed in Germany. Newly elected soccer president Bernd Neuendorf bragged about the speech, although he himself wanted to wait to take a stand.
– It’s good that there is an opportunity for discussion and he can express his opinion. This is the FIFA Congress, and everyone should be able to say what they want. I think it’s fine, he told NRK.
View the full speech here:
Magazine Der Spiegel believes Klaveness interrupts the “Infantino show”.
“At the FIFA Congress in Doha, President Gianni Infantino once again paid tribute to World Cup hosts Qatar and avoided using the word ‘war’ in relation to Ukraine. A woman showed him where the borders are,” they wrote.
– It was amazing. It was a very powerful speech, said Martin Paulsen, children’s coach at Trane and former chairman of Raftostiftelsen.
He, and the club, are behind the suggestion that the president of football criticize FIFA in congress. It was voted in by the football parliament earlier this year.
– Sending our main representative, the president of Norwegian football, onto the podium, to say that these values are very important to us, had its own effect. It helps build football democracy, says Paulsen, who has also recently been elected to the NFF’s ethics committee.
Criticism from the WC manager
Klaveness’ speech was met with a standing ovation from the audience, but WC manager Hassan Al Thawadi was among those who reacted to the speech. He entered the podium and expressed his disappointment Security noticed.
“World Cup bosses hit back after criticism from the Norwegian Football Association”, said the newspaper’s online edition.
“Disagreement over the legacy of the World Cup in Qatar erupted during the FIFA congress on Thursday, and the president of the Norwegian Football Association called for stronger action, but only led to the head of the Qatar organizing committee insisting that he “reads” on the issue”, they further wrote.
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