2022 World Cup: Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal slams FIFA for hosting the World Cup in Qatar

He believes that “money and commercial interests” are the reason behind hosting the much-awaited tournament in the middle eastern country.

Louis van Gaal in a file photo; Credit: Twitter@OnsOranje
By Karthik Raman | Mar 22, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Louis van Gaal, Netherlands’ head coach, was forthright in his criticism of FIFA’s decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He believes that “money and commercial interests” are the reason behind hosting the much-awaited tournament in the middle eastern country. Since earning the right to host the World Cup in the Middle East, Qatar has attracted worldwide scrutiny for its treatment of workers. The global tournament will take place from 21st November to 18th December. 

The Netherlands, which qualified for the finals after missing the 2018 tournament, are set to play friendlies against Denmark on Saturday and Germany next Tuesday. Speaking at a press conference ahead of those matches, the former Manchester United manager was asked his opinion on Qatar hosting the World Cup.

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It’s about money, commercial interests: Louis van Gaal

“Now, everybody knows that I find that ridiculous,” said Van Gaal. “It’s ridiculous that we are going to play in a country – how does FIFA say it? To develop the football there. That is b******t. But it doesn’t matter – it’s about money, commercial interests. That’s the main motive of FIFA.

“Why do you think that I’m not a member of the FIFA commission, with my UEFA expertise?” the former Bayern Munich manager stated. “Because I have always [kept] my distance against these kinds of organisations. It’s not right, but I can say this directly about Qatar – but that does not help the world to get rid of this problem.”

Van Gaal, former Manchester United and Barcelona manager, further stated that he is a member of a commission within the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) that meets every month to assess Qatar’s human rights condition. 

“The KNVB has never been in favour of holding the World Cup in Qatar and of course certainly doesn’t approve of the way in which migrant workers are treated there,” it said in a statement last year, following a visit to the country

Louis van Gaal tests positive for COVID-19

The Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced on Tuesday that their head coach Louis van Gaal has tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms. However, the KNVB did not indicate whether the 70-year-old former Manchester United manager would be on the bench for their upcoming friendly on Saturday against Denmark in Amsterdam.

A spokesperson told the Dutch press agency ANP that Van Gaal had a “cold and continued to display symptoms”. After missing the previous edition in Russia, the Netherlands, a three-time World Cup finalist, have sealed their spot for the event this time. Van Gaal is in his third stint as head coach of the Netherlands, having previously guided the country to the World Cup semifinals in Brazil 2014.

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