Three days out from the start of the Qatar World Cup and the PR woes continue apace for the beleaguered host nation.
The latest crisis arose after footage went viral of a Danish news crew being threatened by local officials for filming in a public place.
TV2 reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking as part of a live broadcast when he was approached by security staff that suddenly appeared on a golf buggy.
Although not in English, video of the incident allegedly shows the local thugs threatening to smash and destroy the film crews camera if they didn’t stop filming.
Tantholdt then reverts to English and said: “You have invited the whole world here. Why can’t we film? It is a public place,” he said.
Following a physical tussle, the reporter added: “You can break the camera. You want to break it? Go ahead. You’re threatening us by breaking the camera.”
Watch the incident below:
Tantholdt later told Norwegian outlet NRK that following the on-air fracas he had since been given an apology by delegates in Qatar but the fact he was stopped during a live broadcast still raised a number of concerns for him.
The reporter said: “I don’t think the message from the top in Qatar has reached all the security guards.
“Therefore, one can argue that there are some who have misunderstood the situation, but at the same time it tells a lot about what it is like in Qatar. There it is that you can be attacked and threatened when you report as a free media.
“This is not a free and democratic country,” he added. “My experience after visiting 110 countries in the world is that the more you have to hide, the more difficult it is to report from there.”
We now got an apology from Qatar International Media Office and from Qatar Supreme Commitee.
This is what happened when we were broadcasting live for @tv2nyhederne from a roundabout today in Doha. But will it happen to other media as well? #FIFAWorldCupQatar2022 pic.twitter.com/NSJj50kLql
— Rasmus Tantholdt TV2 (@RasmusTantholdt) November 15, 2022
However, not all of social media sided with Tantholdt and believed it was him and his crew that had acted unprofessionally.
One Qatari person tweeted: “Since you are in a Qatar you have to respect and follow the rules and regulations. This is not in public area. It’s Katara and without permission you are not allowed. I’m not sure if your team know the procedure to get any broadcast policy.”
While another added: “As a ‘professional’ journalist you should’ve known better than to go with your crew to film without acquiring permits first. You should show some respect and journalistic integrity by admitting that you didn’t acquire a filming permit.”