FIFA president Gianni Infantino hit out at what he described as “hypocrisy” and “racism” on the part of nations following the Qatar World Cup, and claimed that Europe would be “punished for the next 3,000 years” for past mistakes. should apologise”.
In an hour-long monologue in Doha, Infantino, who will stand unopposed to be elected as FIFA president next March, took aim at critics of Qatar and FIFA while defending the treatment of migrant workers, saying Huye said LGBTQ+ people are welcome and insisted he was still in control of the tournament despite a last-minute stadium ban on alcohol.
“The sad thing is that especially in the last weeks, we are seeing in some places a real lesson in moral, double morality. [standards]Infantino said.
“We have been asked to take many lessons from the Western world, from some Europeans. should apologise.” Give moral education to the people.
“How many of these European companies that make hundreds of millions from Qatar or other countries in the region — billions every year — how many of them have addressed migrant-worker rights? I have an answer: none of them. No because if they change the law it means less profit.
“But we did. And FIFA generated much, much less from Qatar than any of these companies.
“We also see a lot of government representatives coming here from Qatar. I don’t have to defend Qatar in any way, they can defend themselves. I’m here to defend football and injustice.”
“If there was no gas, nobody would care. But now they all come and they all want something. Who is really taking care of the workers? FIFA does. Football does, the World Cup and their To be fair, Qatar does as well.”
Infantino questioned European immigration policy and claimed the West could learn from Qatar, which has faced repeated criticism from human rights campaigners over its treatment of migrant workers.
He said: “Where are we going with the way we do things, where is the world going? If you take two steps back and you look at this issue of migration and look at the situation of hundreds of thousands of women and men To offer their services, who want to help and give future to their families, Qatar is really providing them this opportunity.
“Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, they help their families survive. And they do it legally. are not allowed to work legally in our country.” We all know that there are many illegal workers in our European countries, also the living conditions are not really the best.
“People who reach Europe, who want to go to Europe, have to go through a very difficult journey. Only a few survive. So if you really care about the fate of these people, these young people, Europe can ” Do like Qatar: Create some legal channel where at least these workers can come to Europe, less revenue, but give them some work, give them some future, give them some hope.
“That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t say that doesn’t work in Qatar as well. Of course, there are things that don’t work and they need to be addressed. But this moral lesson is one-sided, it’s just hypocrisy.” “
Infantino began his extraordinary speech by declaring, “Today I have very strong feelings, today I feel Qatari, today I feel Arab, today I feel African, today I feel gay, Today I feel disabled, today I feel a migrant worker.” claiming that he understood what discrimination meant because “as a foreigner in a foreign country, I was bullied as a kid in school because I had red hair and freckles.”
Turning his attention to LGBTQ+ rights, Infantino reiterated the Qatar Supreme Committee’s insistence that everyone is welcome in the country despite the country’s strict laws against homosexuality, which in some cases can be punishable by death.
“They have confirmed that I can confirm that everyone is welcome,” Infantino said. “If some odd person here or there says the opposite, it is not the opinion of the country and it is certainly not the opinion of FIFA. It is a clear requirement of FIFA, which is welcomed by all.
“Everyone who comes to Qatar is welcome, whatever religion, race, sexual orientation, belief or he is, everyone is welcome. It was our requirement and the Qatari state stands by that requirement.
“You’ll tell me: ‘Yes, but there are laws that prohibit it, or whatever, you have to go to jail.’ Yes, these laws exist. They are present in many countries of the world. These laws were in place in Switzerland when they hosted the World Cup in 1954. Like workers, these are processes.”
Alcohol was banned in stadiums just two days before Sunday’s opening match between Qatar and Ecuador, at the demand of Qatar’s Supreme Committee, despite promises that fans would be able to buy beer at the games.
Infantino insisted FIFA was still “200 per cent in control” of the tournament and appeared to suggest: “If this is the biggest issue we have for the World Cup, I’ll sign off immediately and go to the beach”. And will rest till 18th December.
James Ole recalled a remarkable speech by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in which he called out the “hypocrisy” of nations criticizing Qatar.
“Let me first assure you that every decision taken in this World Cup is a joint decision between Qatar and FIFA. Every decision. It is discussed, debated and taken jointly. In Qatar There will be over 200 places where you can buy liquor.”
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“More than 10 fan zones where more than 100,000 can drink at once. I personally think, if you can’t drink beer for three hours a day, you’ll survive, especially because that’s exactly the same rule in France.” Or apply in Spain or Portugal, or Scotland. Beer is not allowed in the stadiums.
“Here it becomes a big deal because it is a Muslim country. I don’t know why. We tried. That’s what I give you for sure, late change in policy. Because we tried to see this till the end Tried whether it was possible, but it is one thing to have the plan and design and another thing when you start putting it in the right place.
“You see the flow of people, see their security coming in and out, going to attend different matches. It’s something in this World Cup that’s new in that regard.”
Responding to Infantino’s comments, Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s head of economic and social justice, said: “While sidestepping legitimate human rights criticisms, Gianni Infantino is critical of the heavy price paid by migrant workers to make his flagship tournament possible. are rejecting – as well as FIFA’s responsibility for it. The demands for equality, dignity and compensation cannot be construed as some kind of culture war – they are universal human rights that FIFA has committed to respect in its laws Committed.
“If there is a tiny glimmer of hope, it is that Infantino announced that FIFA will set up a legacy fund after the World Cup. However, this cannot be a mere sham. If FIFA is to save anything from this tournament , then he should announce it.” It will invest a significant portion of the $6 billion that the organization will earn from this tournament and ensure that this fund is used to directly compensate workers and their families.”