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Qatar Authorities Threatened Reporter Ahead Of World Cup

Qatar FIFA World Cup logo

UKRAINE - 2021/11/20: In this photo illustration, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 logo is seen on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Journalists for a television station doing a live broadcast on the streets of Doha, Qatar ahead of next week's World Cup were interrupted this week by security staff who threatened to break their equipment.

According to the Associated Press, journalist Rasmus Tantholdt of Denmark's TV2 was interrupted from a live broadcast when three men drove up and attempted to block the camera lens. Tantholdt could be heard in English admonishing the security members for trying to break his team's equipment.

“You invited the whole world to come here, why can’t we film? It’s a public place,” Tantholdt was heard saying. “You can break the camera, you want to break it? You are threatening us by smashing the camera?”

The Qatari World Cup organizers have since apologized to TV2. They said that an on-site security member apologized to Tantholdt personally and the channel was able to resume filming afterwards.

"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," the organizers said.

It's worth noting that the Danish Football Union (DBU) has been one of Qatar's most vocal soccer federations heading into the World Cup.

The team planned to wear jerseys protesting the nation's human rights record  before FIFA ordered them not to. But they have also chosen to wear a black jersey as their third kit to mourn the construction workers who died during the construction of Qatar's many soccer-specific stadiums. 

There's a sense that this won't be the first protest at the World Cup, nor will it be the only one that authorities crack down on.