Browsing: Qatar

DOHA, QATAR – NOVEMBER 20: Head Coach Louis van Gaal of Netherlands speaks to media during the Netherlands Press Conference at the Main Media Center on November 20, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Sarah Stier – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal says he will ‘no longer’ speak about political issues at the World Cup so that his team can focus on the tournament.

The former Manchester United boss has been an outspoken critic of the decision to choose Qatar as the hosts for the World Cup.

Van Gaal slammed FIFA’s decision to give the country the tournament, while he also criticised Qatar’s record on human rights.

The Netherlands hosted a number of migrants at a recent training session to thank them for their hard work in building the stadiums in Qatar.

However, Van Gaal says now the time has come to let himself and his team focus on the football at hand, which means no further questions on the ‘political issues’. ‘I am no longer going to speak about political issues, I’m speaking about this coming match and I put a full stop on all these issues,’ said Van Gaal.

‘After I invited the migrants to watch a practice session, I requested all our players to put a full stop on that and focus on the match against Senegal.’

Van Gaal is confident in his side’s chances (Photo by Shaun Botterill – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

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Van Gaal last led the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup, when the nation finished third.

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Holland have never won the World Cup but Van Gaal says they can do so in Qatar.

‘I believe in this group of players,’ said Van Gaal. ‘In 2014 we came third with a squad of lesser quality and with this group I expect more.

‘I think that we could become world champions but there are squads who in my view are at a higher level to my squad. 

‘It’s about how the squad deals with that. We can become world champions, whether we will become world champions is a second issue. But we can.’

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