What the main character Haaland himself thinks about the conditions of migrant workers in Qatar, we know very little about – other than that he actually marched when Ståle Solbakken invited – and did not order – his national team to mark human rights at the World Cup the country of Qatar from start as manager of the national team in 2021.
There is excitement about whether Erling Braut Haaland and some of the biggest stars will participate in something like this. They obviously want to. Haaland was silent. degaard asked. A Norwegian unit like this really makes an impression around the world, even when the opponent’s name is Gibraltar.
Then several T-shirts, banners and finally five fingers of one hand were raised, as a symbol of the struggle for human rights. Then speculated that Haaland didn’t raise his hand. He was not holding a banner with a message addressed to the Gulf states. He seemed aloof.
Some people think it is a possible signal to potential future employers. But the point remained that Haaland was there. He is part of a common front against how people are treated in Qatar – but at the same time also in some of the neighboring countries, which are heavily involved in world football. Some Saudi Arabia. Like the Emirates. There is also the Abu Dhabi United Group and its owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, or simply Sheikh Mansour, owner of Manchester
The only thing that is certain is that the main character himself will now be getting more questions that he can barely answer.
About what he thinks of the Abu Dhabi-based owner paying salaries of hundreds of millions of kroner. About conditions in their home country. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, a country that according to some human rights organizations in many areas is even worse than World Cup host Qatar. In the case of imprisonment of opposition figures, punishment for homosexuality, women’s rights or freedom of expression in general.
Money and position
Because Emirates are just as effective in using sport and culture in building their reputation and position as their neighbours. Whether it’s through the Expo 2020 world exhibition, which is also represented by Norway and which was the venue for Magnus Carlsen’s last World Cup match in chess, the Formula 1 race or the Manchester City football club.
Since Abu Dhabi-based Mansour took ownership in 2008, the club has experienced an adventure that seems sporting. In 2012, they won their first league gold under the new owners. Since then, there have been four more, in addition to winning eight domestic cups. The exorbitant sums of money that have been invested in the club, inside or outside the regulated, have created total mediocrity and brought honor and pride to the light blue part of Manchester.
But one important thing was missing before this project could be called a success, namely winning the most valuable thing in international football club, namely the Champions League. All the billions of pounds that the declared genius of Catalan manager Pep Guardiola has only this as their main goal. And he knows everything very well.
Therefore, he also agreed to the purchase of Erling Braut Haaland who is one of the best European players, and coincidentally also a Norwegian national.
Haaland’s impossible choice
Therefore, Haaland will return to his home country in June to play an international match, this time with a certain value.
And when Norway takes to natural turf to face Serbia and Sweden, it is hoped that the Norwegian players under Ståle Solbakken will continue their trail for human rights.
While everyone’s eyes will be on the figure of the new Emirates poster.
And whether he took part in the celebration, which was directly or indirectly also addressed to his new master.
Which is a dilemma for Ståle Solbakken.
For how he had to relate to Haaland’s impossible choice. And the criticism that comes is almost regardless, whether he participates or whether he now stays away.
Haaland came to City on his way to greater development and sporting success.
And at the same time, Haaland will in practice become a leading sporting figure at Manchester City for the next few years.
And he is not to blame, if anyone thinks so. Star players and their advisors know enough. But they are just part of a system that football authorities and politicians are allowed to grow unhindered. It is those who have the ability and responsibility to make decisions that should stop this type of owner in football. No one has the desire or ability to do so.
One hero is another hypocrite
One can dream of a star who really stands up and fights for a better world – and through that, their master speaks in the opposite direction. It will not happen. We already understood it in the way when the Portuguese star improved Cristiano Ronaldo left CNN interview in anger in 2015when asked about the corruption scandal at FIFA and about Qatar.
Ronaldo can say something without anyone touching him. Instead, he came up with the winged words ‘…and Qatar. I don’t give fK ‘and go – and at the same time carry the latest illusion that football stars can use their power to influence the decay of the sport in which they belong.
Therefore, the participation of Erling Braut Haaland in the Norwegian national team a few years later was in many ways a victory.
Now he was faced with this. Because he got an employer who represents exactly the same as him who is involved in social distancing with the national team.
And Haaland was punished by defending the national team. And cause someone to suddenly become a hypocrite.
But the world is not fair. Not for migrant workers in Qatar or Abu Dhabi, nor always for world stars like Erling Braut Haaland.
Should he be involved? By no means. Should he? In an ideal world, yes. But our ideal world is not necessarily his, as he continues to climb the ladder to become one of the biggest football stars in the world. Maybe he, 21 years old from Bryne, could be the greatest, if fate willed it. Where one would be able to call him a sort of Faust figure, who sold his soul to reveal his genius to the fullest. But the truth is not.
Erling Braut Haaland, who scored 0 goals in 16 home games at Bryne before he was bought by Molde, has since developed his own way of responding.
It’s just called scoring goals.
And is the most effective argument you can make in world football, whatever you ask.
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