every year, the FC Bayern Munich travels to a training camp in Qatar, and regularly the record-breaking champion will be criticized for it. That a football club could refuse the Trip to the Emirate, it is hard to imagine. The Finn Riku Riski has done now.

Riski, 29, a striker for the Finnish champion HJK from Helsinki, has cancelled his participation in the training camp of the national team for ethical reasons. To train In Qatar and not let themselves with its values agree, quoted by the newspaper “Helsingin Sanomat”. According to these values, he wanted to act. “I think this is important,” said Riski thus: “I have made my decision and will stand by it.” The Finnish football Association Suomen Palloliitto confirmed the cancellation and the reasons for it.

Qatar, the host of the 2022 football world Cup, for years because of violations of human rights in the criticism. It is mainly about working conditions for migrants. As Amnesty reported internationally, people from Bangladesh, Nepal or India, working in Qatar under unworthy circumstances. Wage payments, passports were withheld. Heat and accidents around the construction of world Cup stadiums to the deaths of hundreds of migrant workers. The number of unreported cases is likely to be higher, Amnesty International reported that many deaths were not officially recorded.

violations of human rights? No comment

Finland coach Markku Kanerva said he respected Riskis decision. Participation in the training camp is a voluntary activity, he is not forcing anyone to go. Riski stay, while still a candidate for the national team. Kanerva stressed the importance of the training camps, he also illustrates Riski.

To Riskis concerns and the violations of human rights in Qatar, the coach wanted to take no position. His task is, Finland on the EM-qualification prepare. And the training conditions in Qatar are outstanding. An Argument that FC Bayern installs, when it comes to his training camp in Doha.

Riski denied a total of 26 games for the national team. His latest assignment is one and a half years. The current training camp should be a Chance especially for players like Riski, a Finnish or Scandinavian League play, in order to recommend themselves for the national team. Finland starts in March in the EM-qualification.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.