FC Copenhagen Boycott UAE over Human Rights Concerns
Danish football side FC Copenhagen have announced a suspension on travel to the UAE for future training sessions after an outcry from fans over the country’s poor human rights record.
The boycott will come into effect following this season’s winter training session, which is still set to go ahead in Dubai due to contractual obligations.
In a statement published on their website, the club said: "In connection with this winter's planned training camp for Dubai, there has been much debate and criticism from FCK fans about the choice of destination over the problems surrounding human rights in the United Arab Emirates.
"FC Copenhagen's sporting management with manager Ståle Solbakken has therefore chosen not to travel on training camp to Dubai in the coming years. However, the club is contractually bound in relation to this winter's training camp, which is therefore being implemented."
"The club has never had other motives other than training optimally for the spring season, but we understand and respect that it is a strong desire from our fans that we find another solution. We have chosen to listen to that."
The UAE’s human rights record has come under increased scrutiny following the arrest of UK student Matthew Hedges and the continued detention of UAE rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, whose ten-year prison sentence for criticizing the government on social media was upheld last week.
This has led to growing calls from cultural institutions worldwide to sever ties with the Gulf state.