Amnesty Int’l: “Incomprehensible” Qatar is paying Dutch fans to promote “PR, propaganda”
Amnesty International called it “incomprehensible’ that 50 Oranje supporters are going to the World Cup at the Qatar government’s expense in exchange for positive posts about the football tournament on social media. “In this way, the fans allow themselves to be harnessed to Qatar's PR and propaganda cart,” said Amnesty International spokesperson Ruud Bosgraaf.
NOS previously reported that 50 Dutch football fans are attending the World Cup at Qatar’s expense and that the Gulf State is paying for their flight and accommodation. In return, the World Cup organization will use those supporters’ social media posts for marketing purposes.
Bosgraaf said Amnesty International is not happy that these supporters are getting paid, but he does not want to lump all Oranje supporters together. “It is only a small group going to the World Cup at Qatar’s expense.”
Recently, the human rights organization launched a petition to get the world football association FIFA to set up a compensation fund for exploited migrant workers in Qatar. According to Amnesty International, thousands of people are working on World Cup projects in the oil state in horrible conditions.
According to NOS, the 50 fans paid by Qatar are not only expected to post positive messages about the World Cup on social media. They must also report “offensive” comments by third parties. “Getting paid in exchange for positive posts is one thing, but reporting on third-party posts goes a step further,” said Bosgraaf. “In effect, you are a snitch, a sort of informant for the Qatar government.”
Bosgraaf stressed that Amnesty International isn’t calling for a boycott of the World Cup. Everyone should make that decision for themselves. “But I advise people to be well informed about the situation in the country before they travel.”
Reporting by ANP