Minister Conny Helder (Sport) will attend the match between the Dutch national team and Qatar at the World Cup in the Gulf state on behalf of the Dutch government, insiders report. If the Netherlands advances in the tournament, King Willem-Alexander may also travel to Qatar.
The Cabinet previously said that it would send delegates to the World Cup, but it hasn’t announced names yet. Given her role as Minister of Sport, Helder seems an obvious choice. The government’s decision to send a delegation at all is controversial due to the criticism of the human rights situation in Qatar.
Oranje will play against Qatar on November 29. It is the Dutch team’s third and last match in the group stage. The government has not yet decided who to send if the Dutch team progresses to the next round. It is, therefore, still conceivable that the Dutch King may travel to Qatar. Prime Minister Mark Rutte could also go to the tournament.
Coalition Parties D66 and ChristenUnie were against sending a government delegation to Qatar. If someone had to go, they suggested it be Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra. He and the human rights ambassador could then denounce the situation in Qatar and discuss how the country treats migrant workers. The coalition parties’ motion only received support from JA21 in parliament and was, therefore, largely rejected.
Reporting by ANP
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