Martin Odegaard suffered an injury scare last night playing for Norway against Gibraltar but the midfielder should recover in time for Saturday’s clash with Turkey.
The midfielder, newly appointed captain of his country, turned his ankle on the artificial turf in the first half and had to be substituted at the break.
There were initially concerns that the 22-year-old had suffered a serious injury, however, coach Stale Solbakken allayed fears in his post-game press conference.
“I have a big hope that Martin will be fit for the game against Turkey on Saturday. Not a serious injury,” he said.
Prior to the World Cup qualifier, Odegaard had led his teammates in a protest against the human rights record of hosts Qatar.
A debate has been raging in Norway about whether the country should boycott the competition in light of evidence that more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in the past decade as part of the preparations.
Odegaard and his teammates sported t-shirts during the pre-game warm-up and during the national anthems that said “Human Rights On and off the pitch.”
“I have the impression that a lot of (players) are interested in this, care about it and want to do something to try and contribute in a good way,” said Odegaard.
Speaking to Norway’s TV2, Solbakken, who wore a similar shirt,” added: “This is a little bit what we have been talking about, to put the focus on some of that that has been a discussion off the pitch. The boys were keen to do this and I am here as an example of that.”
The Norwegian Football Federation is due to meet next year to discuss a boycott after top clubs in the country, including Rosenburg and Tromso, said they’d back such a move.
On a separate note, China’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs – an issue raised by a former Arsenal MO10 – continues to make headlines.
Last week, the EU, UK, US and Canada imposed sanctions on China for their human rights abuses against the mostly Muslim Uighur minority group.
The decision has sparked a backlash against Western brands who’ve previously released statements expressing concerns about reports of forced labour, including Nike and Swedish fashion brand H&M, for whom Hector Bellerin recently designed a collection.