Qatari World Cup organisers have apologised to a Danish television station whose live broadcast from a street in Doha was interrupted by security staff who threatened to break camera equipment.
Journalists from the TV2 channel “were mistakenly interrupted”, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy acknowledged in a statement.
“Upon inspection of the crew’s valid tournament accreditation and filming permit, an apology was made to the broadcaster by on-site security before the crew resumed their activity,” organisers said.
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Reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking live to a news anchor in Denmark when three men drove up behind him on an electric cart and tried to block the camera lens.
“You invited the whole world to come here. Why can’t we film? It’s a public place,” Tantholdt was heard saying in English.
“You can break the camera. You want to break it? You are threatening us by smashing the camera?”
The incident five days before the start of the World Cup revisited a subject that has been sensitive for tournament organisers who have denied claims there are strict limits on where media can film in Qatar.
Qatari organisers said they later spoke to Tantholdt and also “issued an advisory to all entities to respect the filming permits in place for the tournament”.
Denmark’s soccer federation has also been one of the biggest critics of Qatar among the 32 World Cup teams over the emirate’s record on human rights, including its treatment of low-paid migrant workers.
They were needed to build massive construction projects since FIFA picked Qatar as host in 2010.
Danish players will wear game jerseys that have a toned-down badge and manufacturers’ logo as a protest in support of labour rights when they play France, Australia and Tunisia in group D.
A third-choice black-jersey option has been included as “the colour of mourning” for construction workers who have died in Qatar.
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Where are they now? The historic Socceroos squad that went to the 2006 FIFA World Cup