Fears over the safety of tourists traveling to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup have once again risen after a shocking attempt at censorship caught on live television.
Danish reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was doing a live cross on the streets of Doha for TV 2 NYHEDERNE when two Qatari locals interrupted and threatened to smash his camera.
Tantholdt was chatting to a camera, when two men appeared in a buggy. One of the men turned the camera away from Tantholdt as the reporter argued.
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“Mister, you invited the whole world to come here,” he said.
“Why can’t we film? It’s a public place. This is the accreditation, we can film anywhere we want.”
The man then threatened to break the camera, to which Tantholdt replied: “You want to break it? OK, break the camera. So you’re threatening us by smashing the camera.”
Tantholdt revealed that he and the Danish network had received an apology from both the Qatar International Media Office and the Qatar Supreme Committee following the altercation.
The incident involving Tantholdt comes amid widespread controversy surrounding the Qatar World Cup.
Calls from Germany’s professional football leagues have come for the World Cup to be boycotted in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
Last week, before the last Bundesliga game ahead of the league’s extended two-month winter break, Freiburg fans behind one goal held a huge banner with the words, “Boycott Qatar.”
Other large banners highlighted alleged injustices in the country, while it seemed almost every supporter in the 34,700-capacity stadium held an individual sign calling for a boycott of the tournament, seven days before it was due to begin.
Mainz fans also called for a boycott during their team’s draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.
They were the final protests after weeks of public displays across stadiums against the tournament controversially awarded to Qatar by FIFA amid allegations of vote-buying in 2010.
“It was wrong and it’s still wrong,” Bernd Beyer of the “Boycott Qatar 2022” initiative told The Associated Press last week.
“The fans do not identify with it and are saying they don’t want to have anything to do with it, but they are actively criticizing it and not just switching off.”
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted last week that awarding Qatar the World Cup back in 2010 was a “mistake”.
Even pop stars have weighed in, with British pop sensation Dua Lipa hitting back at reports that she’d be performing at the World Cup.
The 27-year-old, who recently toured Australia, said she’ll only visit Qatar “when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made”.
“There is currently a lot of speculation that I will be performing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar,” she said in a statement on Instagram.
“I will not be performing and nor have I ever been involved in any negotiation to perform.
“I will be cheering England on from Afar and I look forward to visiting Qatar when it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the World Cup.”
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