In an open letter, 23 ministers and state ministers from Europe called on international sports federations to think carefully when allocating major sporting leagues to countries. Transparency, democracy and concern for human rights and business rules should be at the heart of this, according to the politicians. Paul Blogis, Dutch Minister of State for Health, Welfare and Sport, is one of the signatories to the letter.
Many international sports federations are transparent and democratic, but many are not. The letter said that the decision-making process in these associations needs to be reformed. “The time for action is now.”
The letter was developed at the initiative of the Scandinavian countries in response to discussions about next year’s World Cup in Qatar. The choice of FIFA to host Qatar is highly controversial due to the human rights situation in that country. “It is clear that this decision was a mistake,” Danish Minister Anne Halsboe Jorgensen said. “We hope this European statement will help prevent a major sporting event like the World Cup from ending in a country like Qatar in the future.”
Several European countries, including the Netherlands, are pushing for an improvement in the human rights situation and working conditions in the Arab country in the run-up to the World Cup. “We are now putting political pressure on the international sports federations,” Halsoe-Jorgensen says. “In the future, we and our national sports federations can use this statement as evidence that the vast majority of EU countries want more openness and more democracy in international sport. We hope to see soon decisions from sports federations that rely more on values such as democracy, transparency and human rights. The human “.
Almost all European ministers and ministers of state who signed the letter are responsible for sports in their country. Politicians are also calling on unions to pay more attention to the situation of guest workers, children and LGBTI people in countries where major sporting events are held.
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