There is a similarity between the cases of Matthias Normann and Erling Braut Haaland. However, the difference is so great that it is correct to approach them completely differently.
There have been many contributions after the warming around sports washing, and the relationship between politics and sports has risen exponentially.
One topic that seems to be of particular interest is how different the Norwegian Football Association’s handling of Ståle Solbakken is with questions about the controversial Norman & Haaland club selection.
The contrast couldn’t be greater.
One banned from the national team indefinitely.
The other is the biggest star in the history of the Norwegian national team.
Comparing Sports Cases Vs. Non-sporting conditions, is an exercise that can be both easy and hard at the same time.
The hard part is how difficult it is to consistently deal with ethical issues in the cynical world of football.
Where should you draw the line when it’s okay to think only of football?
When should there be a demand for moral awareness about non-sports matters?
How inappropriate at any level must the reaction be before the reaction is legitimate?
Here it is very easy to meet yourself at the door. There are a number of actors in this circus, including us in the media, who can be quickly accused of throwing stones at glass houses.
The similarity between the uproar about Matthias Normann and the difficult questions of Erling Braut Haaland is that their argument is essentially the same.
Here, sporting considerations were absolutely crucial when they changed clubs. Awareness of non-sports issues does not appear to be high.
However, it is important to stress that there is a great difference in the content of criticism of the choices clubs they have made.
We are talking about different leagues, to use an image of football.
Matthias Norman’s case revolves around traveling to a country that has fought a war of conquest, to earn money playing football in the Russian league. It is happening at a time when large parts of the sports world are trying to isolate Russia.
It is an incomprehensible selfishness and an impossible choice to understand. Therefore, Lise Klaveness and Ståle Solbakken were right when they chose to close the door on Matthias Normann in the Norway national team. Here, it is simply unacceptable to say that sports and politics do not belong to each other.
Opinions are divided over Haaland’s move to Manchester City, and to what extent it is a problem that the club is owned by Abu Dhabi’s deputy prime minister. It is legitimate to think that Haaland should have been more aware that he is being used as a PR tool, and could have easily chosen other clubs. However, his case is very different from that of Norman.
Erling Braut Haaland did not actively seek to establish a state that would promote war to earn money, while Ukraine and Ukrainian sports were suffering greatly. Matthias Norman did it. Haaland plays in England.
The amount of responsibility that the attacker must bear on the shoulders of the attacker is limited by the fact that it is controversial, and it is not easy for him to openly criticize his employer.
But it is alarming how Haaland tried to discredit the well-documented human rights abuses in the UAE at the press conference. It is serious and disturbing.
In any case, it is generally easy for the Norwegian Football Association to conclude as they did in both cases, despite the fact that some of the buildings are relatively similar.
There is something in the Thai expression “the same, but different.” Or rather, “very different”.
Sports washing and wars of conquest are of different sizes.
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