The Qatari organising committee behind the 2022 FIFA World Cup has apologised to a Dutch TV reporter after he was hassled by locals and security forces while filming a live broadcast.
During a live cross from Doha, reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was approached by two locals who covered the lens of the camera and later threatened to break it.
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The fracas continued despite the arrival of a security guard, to whom Tantholdt showed their government-issued media accreditation which allowed them to film in the city.
The incident has once again cast attention onto Qatar's strict social laws, with the Qatar International Media Office and Qatar Supreme Committee both apologising to the Dutch TV crew.
In the footage, which has been widely shared on social media, Tantholdt is speaking Dutch when the two men approach the camera crew.
We now got an apology from Qatar International Media Office and from Qatar Supreme Commitee.
This is what happened when we were broadcasting live for @tv2nyhederne from a roundabout today in Doha. But will it happen to other media as well? #FIFAWorldCupQatar2022 pic.twitter.com/NSJj50kLql
— Rasmus Tantholdt TV2 (@RasmusTantholdt) November 15, 2022
“Mister, you invited the whole world to come here. Why can’t we film? It’s a public place," Tantholdt can be heard saying.
"This is the accreditation, we can film anywhere we want.
“You want to break it? OK, break the camera. So you’re threatening us by smashing the camera."
Unsurprisingly, the footage sparked concern among media members covering the World Cup, and comes amid continuing criticism of Qatar's human rights record.
Qatar was awarded the rights to host the 2022 World Cup under controversial circumstances in 2010, with former FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently admitting it was a 'mistake' to award them the rights.
Human rights concerns have been sparked by reports thousands of migrant workers dying in the process of constructing the eight new stadiums required to host the Cup.
The Socceroos have also spoken out against Qatar's outlawing of homosexuality among other concerns, with many fearing unintended consequences of thousands of overseas fans visiting the deeply conservative nation.
Despite this, FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has praised the hospitality of Qatar.
“No matter your race, your religion, your social and sexual orientation, you are most welcome, and Qataris are ready to receive you with the best hospitality that you can imagine,” Samoura said.
“People can consider Qatar as a conservative society, like my own country in Senegal.
“But let me tell you one thing: Qataris are the most hospitable people you can find on earth.”
Qatar facing criticism over World Cup accomodation
Qatar is still expecting more than 130,000 people to visit during the Middle East's first ever World Cup and celebrate the occasion.
In a race against the clock to get ready, portable rooms made from shipping containers are expected to host as many as 60,000 fans with reporters getting an inside look at the Al-Emadi fan village.
While the accomodation initially raised eyebrows, due to the price tag of $306-a-night, many had accepted what they had perceived to be their rooms.
However, a video circulating the internet has seen the rooms in the FIFA World Cup village compared to the infamous Fyre Festival.
The video allegedly shows the containers with a sheet at the entrance.
Upon entering there is nothing but two single beds separated by a small table. A hanging light illuminates the room.
Considering one of these tents are set to cost fans $306-a-night, it immediately drew comparisons to the infamous Fyre Festival drama.
The Associated Press said the Al-Emadi site spanned over 3.1 square kilometres, with a temporary convenience store and restaurant also planned - however though the village has purpose built transport thanks to a metro station and bus stop, fans still face travel times of at least 40 minutes to reach various stadiums.
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