Finland's Riku Riski rejects friendly in Qatar over human rights violations

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Riku Riski has refused to play a friendly match against in Sweden in Qatar because of the Gulf state's bad human right record, according to the Guardian.  

“I got an invitation, then talked to the general manager and the head coach [Markuu Kanerva],” Riski told Helsingin Sanomat. “They understood, but were of a different opinion. I stuck with my decision, and have nothing more to add. I was pretty clear; I didn’t want to go.”

Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 tournament remains highly controversial, with widespread condemnation over the treatment of migrant workers building brand new stadiums around the capital city, Doha. A report published by Amnesty International in September 2018 stated that workers were still suffering exploitation and severe human rights violations.

Kanerva has said he respects Riski’s decision, but suggested that failure to attend the winter training camp and friendlies could affect his chances of being part of Finland’s squad for their opening Euro 2020 qualifiers against Italy and Armenia.

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