FIFA World Cup: Dutch interest in Qatar matches very low

FIFA World Cup: Dutch interest in Qatar matches very low |

Interest in the controversial tournament hosted by Qatar has reached a low in the football-fanatic nation, with King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte not planning to attend and just 14% of Dutch citizens excited about the tournament.

Team Oranje is set to start its World Cup run against Senegal on Monday and will also play Qatar on 29 November.

For now, Long-Term Care and Sports Minister Conny Helder is the only minister who has confirmed he will attend the match against Qatar in person, accompanied by a government delegation. The King and the prime minister will not attend, though this could change if the Dutch were to advance to the knockout stage.

Interest in the World Cup in Qatar among the general population is low, and according to a recent survey, 14% say they are excited, Eenvandaag reported.

Meanwhile, a church in Utrecht held a memorial service for the estimated 6500 migrant workers who died during the construction of the World Cup stadiums.

“With this memorial service, we want to reflect on the people who are involved,” said Harmen Nijmeijer, director of Micha Netherlands, one of the organisers of the memorial service, NL Times reported.

At the EU level, the European Parliament took aim at Qatar’s labour rights violations in preparation for the tournament. Miguel Urbán Crespo of the left group in the parliament called the coming tournament a “World Cup bathed in blood,” while Social Democrat Lara Wolters called it a “World Cup of shame.”

By sending a government delegation, the Netherlands is choosing to continue a dialogue with Qatar, as the government, while concerned about the current situation, believes that dialogue is what has created “a visible positive effect on reforms and better working conditions.”  

(Sofia Stuart Leeson |


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