Qatar World Cup organisers apologise after threatening to smash Danish TV camera

Danish TV broadcasters interrupted in Qatar for World Cup.

Credit: Rasmus Tantholdt TV2/Twitter
The Danish broadcasters were interrupted on Tuesday night while filming a live report. Credit: Rasmus Tantholdt TV2/Twitter

World Cup organisers in Qatar have apologised after a Danish live television broadcast was interrupted by officials who threatened to "smash" camera equipment.

The incident happened on Tuesday night, just five days before the start of the tournament, as journalists from the TV2 channel were reporting from a street in Doha.

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.

Tantholdt was heard saying in English: “You invited the whole world to come here, why can’t we film? It’s a public place.

"You can break the camera, you want to break it? You are threatening us by smashing the camera?”

Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy released a statement regarding the incident, acknowledging that the broadcasters "were mistakenly interrupted".

“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.

They said they later spoke to Tantholdt and also “issued an advisory to all entities to respect the filming permits in place for the tournament.”

There have been reports of strict limits on where international media crews can film in Qatar, but the tournament organisers have denied these claims.

Denmark’s football federation has been one of the biggest critics of Qatar among the 32 World Cup teams.

It has criticised the country's record on human rights and treatment of low-paid migrant workers.

Danish players will wear kits 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 also been included as “the colour of mourning,” for construction workers who have died in Qatar.

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