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This summer, Erling Braut Haaland chose to replace Borussia Dortmund with Manchester City.
The English Premier League champion is owned by Sheikh Mansour. In his native UAE, recognized organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have exposed human rights abuses.
Wednesday before training Braut Haaland faced the club’s choice.
– It’s not like he shouldn’t be excused from such questions, says national team coach Stoll Solbakken the next day.
– It’s also not that I think he shouldn’t be able to answer it, but I think that part of what comes in that direction is exaggerated. Then I don’t mean that he shouldn’t answer questions about the club’s election and this topic, that’s justified. The unexplained thing, Solbakken continues, is that Erling Braut Haaland should be held accountable, or be held accountable, or be the first to debate or advocate for a huge political issue.
He believes Braut Haaland is going a long way up the “food chain” around controversy over hot political issues.
– The club is part of an approved system – the Premier League – which is part of international football. Then it comes to a point where you have to direct the lights elsewhere. By virtue of being the star that he is, he’s a lot of fun. But for me this is a bit of an exaggeration. I say that with all due respect for allowing you to ask questions about this. There’s a huge business community, there’s authorities and an international community… If you’re going to get at the seams about this, it’s not Erling who should be the starting point and drawing the outlines and deciding who will be in charge why. Far, far, far, far, far, far, far, down this ladder, Solbakken says.
The director of the national team particularly reacted to the VG article, The Englishman, Matthew Hedges, claimed that he was tortured in a prison in the United Arab Emirates for several months. Hedges described Haaland as the “ambassador of the totalitarian regime”.
– If you take the VG article, it is very popular for me. It’s humble journalism as far as I’m concerned. I read it before bed yesterday and think it’s on edge. You can turn it upside down. Is it really an erling that you should be disappointed with? I think that’s overkill, Solbakken says.
Anders Christiansen, a journalist at VG, grabbed Solbakken’s kick for the newspaper.
– Like other VG readers, Ståle Solbakken is free to say whatever he wants on each of these and other things. The discussion about the responsibility that should fall on individual players to wash sports is interesting, and opinions are divided. But when Erling Braut Haaland questioned the UAE’s well-documented human rights abuses at a press conference, it’s important to hear from one of them – in this case Matthew Hedges – who felt this firsthand, writing to TV 2.
Defender Braut Haaland
Braut Haaland’s teammates met on Wednesday as the Manchester City striker was forced to defend his choice of club.
It’s hard for Erling to answer all of that. Leo Skerry Ostegaard says that he is first and foremost a footballer and we are delighted to have him in the national team.
Andreas Hansch Olsen says he is somewhat undeserving of the amount of responsibility he has in relation to questions about Manchester City’s owners.
Morten Thorsby has been aggressively involved in the fight against climate. He believes that focusing on the big questions is something Braut Haaland will have to learn to live with.
The fact that the focus is on club selection, I don’t think Erling has to deal with self-criticism for that. This is not the most important thing here. Erling is one of the best footballers in the world and he’s chosen to go to one of the best clubs in the world, it’s absolutely amazing. But it also makes him one of the most influential people in the world. What I, as a friend and colleague of the values I stand for, and what I try to inspire and influence, is to use my voice and use my influence, says Thorsby.
– I am passionate about the climate and the environment as everyone knows, of course I want as many players as possible to talk about this. I know how much value it could have had in solving our global climate and environmental crisis. They have such a huge impact, but at the same time I know how hard it is for players to talk about these things. These are big and complex topics. You have to have knowledge and facts and be confident in what you are talking about, says Thorsby.
– Something unfortunately Erling has to live with
The midfielder says he spends a lot of time creating blueprints for players where they can get information, learn and dare to use their voice to talk about big and important issues.
I see how important it is for people to dare to talk about it. I’m a very good friend of Erling, some things we agree on, other things we don’t. It’s great to live in a democracy where you can live like this. I try to inspire footballers to use their voice because that’s what matters, not the clubs they play for.
– What consequences do you think this could have for Erling? Do you think he is willing to pay a lot for it?
– I understand Erling very well. It is not an optional scenario. Erling is a soccer player and has become the best in the world. Unfortunately, what you do is you end up in a situation where you have a huge impact and influence. It’s something Erling has to live with unfortunately, because he is himself. He can’t escape from it. I think he answered well for himself. There are many other people who have to look at themselves in the mirror and not Erling when it comes to choosing a club. That’s not what I’m talking about with Erling in private. I try to inspire him and talk about the important challenges we face. Which I hope one day Erling will choose to talk about, but it is optional and he should defend it. ‘I don’t just talk to Erling about it,’ says Thorsby, ‘I talk about it to all men.
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