Van Gaal backs Netherlands fan boycott of Qatar World Cup

By Sports Desk November 16, 2022 533

Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has backed fans who have decided to boycott the World Cup in Qatar.

After a 12-year wait loaded with controversy, the first World Cup to be played in the Middle East begins on Sunday when Qatar face Ecuador.

There has been scrutiny on the hosts surrounding human rights issues, the treatment of migrant workers and the illegality of homosexuality, with FIFA having written to all participating nations and urging them to "focus on the football".

That seems unlikely to happen, however, with a number of nations already speaking out, and Van Gaal has issued his support to any fans boycotting the tournament.

"I think that they are right to do that because they believe in that and they have to do that, so no problem with that," he said.

"And I hope that we play so fantastic that at the end of the tournament when we play the final, they shall look for the television how good we are.

"I think that you have to play in football countries, more experience with everything, but also to stimulate that country in another way, in the right way.

"This is also a small country, my family or my friends have a lot of difficulties to find the place, so that's also a remark.

"The organisation and the pitches and everything, the facilities, these are very good."

On the field, Van Gaal admits that he does not have the best players at his disposal in the Netherlands squad but still feels they can be successful.

"I believe that we don't have the best players on earth in our team, but I believe in team building and tactics and I believe that we can come to the end but we need also luck, that is also important," he explained.

"And because of that and because I believe in imagination, I speak about to be the world champion at the end of the tournament because when you can imagine that, you can do it also on the pitch, because we have players who can execute the tactics of the coaches of the Netherlands."

The Netherlands begin their campaign against Senegal on November 22, before facing Ecuador and hosts Qatar in Group A.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 16 November 2022 12:37
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