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Denmark rekindles the European dispute with Fifa at the World Cup

European football once again showed its public frustration with Fifa President Gianni Infantino at the World Cup on Wednesday – this time in the Danish camp.

Denmark vowed not to vote for Infantino, who is running for re-election unopposed in March. The president of the Danish Football Association, Jesper Møller, also indicated that he wanted to quit Fifa.

“I thought about it again,” Møller told the Danish media in Qatar. “I can imagine that there could be challenges if Denmark goes out alone. But let’s see if we can’t have a dialogue.”

Denmark’s problems with the Fifa president eased ahead of the World Cup, said Møller, who is a member of Uefa’s executive committee, but tensions with Europe have been heating up in recent days.

Infantino used a press conference on the eve of the tournament to slam European society and the media for their hypocrisy in criticizing World Cup hosts Qatar.

FIFA’s threats to show yellow cards to captains who wanted to wear an unauthorized armband as part of the anti-discrimination campaign “One Love” prompted seven European sides to be relegated hours before three games on Monday.

It was an unprecedented row at a World Cup, with Fifa pitted against players on the day of preparation for one of the biggest matches of their career.

At the Germany camp on Tuesday, officials said they are considering a legal challenge to Fifa’s tactics before the Arbitration Court for Sport. The court said no appeal has yet been filed.

“We have to react to that,” said Møller. “We will achieve this together with the other countries. We’re in this together.”

Denmark also angered Fifa and Qatar with a team shirt design that drew attention to dissatisfaction with the host country’s record on human rights and treatment of migrant workers. The team has a black jersey as a third option, chosen as the “color of mourning” for the workers who died in Qatar.

At Denmark’s opening game on Tuesday, former Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt wore a rainbow armband to protest Qatar’s record on LGBTQ rights. Møller and Infantino also took part in the game, which ended in a 0-0 draw.

Infantino claimed over the weekend he had the backing of more than 200 of Fifa’s 211 member associations to seek re-election. Denmark and Germany have publicly stated that they will not vote for him.

The deadline for candidates was November 16, days before members met in Doha on Sunday, and no rival produced the five valid pledges of support required to run. The election assembly is on March 16 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Infantino was a long-time Uefa employee and rose to become Secretary General when he was elected head of Fifa in 2016.

During his presidency there were several clashes with former European colleagues over football policy issues and he lived in Qatar ahead of the World Cup while also working more closely with Africa.

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