Svenska Spel defends Swedish football sponsorship for Qatar World Cup
| By Nosa Omoigui
Swedish operator Svenska Spel has defended its decision to continue to sponsor the Swedish national football team during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The state-owned gambling operator has sponsored the national team for decades and plans to do so during next summer’s World Cup – according to a statement from from Svenska Spel’s sustainability manager Kajsa Nylander and sponsorship manager Nicklas Biverstahl.
The decision to host the tournament in Qatar has proved to be controversial, with Svenksa Spel acknowledging that the country ‘lacks respect for human rights’.
Instead, the company has chosen to see the competition as an opportunity for change, rather than an excuse to boycott.
On behalf of Svenska Spel, Nylander and Biverstahl said: “We understand that many people feel that a boycott is the most reasonable choice, when championships are decided in countries that lack respect for human rights.
“We do not advocate general demands for a boycott. Instead, we believe that the Football Association should be there and do what they can to contribute to long-term change, both within the country and within FIFA when host countries are chosen in the future.
“So, even if in this case we regret the choice of host country, our ambition is to do what we can to contribute to long-term social improvement. We believe this is a better choice than a boycott.”