Support our Nation today - please donate here
Sport

FIFA president hits out at criticism of Qatar hosting World Cup

19 Nov 2022 3 minute read
FIFA President Gianni Infantino during a press conference at the Main Media Centre, ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar

FIFA president Gianni Infantino hit out at criticism of Qatar from Europe on the eve of the World Cup.

The game’s global governing body has been attacked for its decision to take the finals to Qatar, where the treatment of migrant workers and the rights of LGBTQ+ people have been in the spotlight.

Ahead of the opening game of the tournament on Sunday, Infantino said: “We have told many, many lessons from some Europeans, from the western world.

“I think for what we Europeans have been doing the last 3,000 years we should be apologising for next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.”

Infantino added: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arabic. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel (like) a migrant worker.

“Of course I am not Qatari, I am not an Arab, I am not African, I am not gay, I am not disabled. But I feel like it, because I know what it means to be discriminated, to be bullied, as a foreigner in a foreign country. As a child I was bullied – because I had red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian so imagine.

“What do you do then? You try to engage, make friends. Don’t start accusing, fighting, insulting, you start engaging. And this is what we should be doing.”

OneLove

Meanwhile, FIFA has launched a new captain’s armband on the eve of the World Cup, with a group of nations including England and Wales already intending to wear their own anti-discrimination version.

Captains of nine European nations, including England’s Harry Kane and Wales’ Gareth Bale, will wear the OneLove armbands in Qatar, a country which criminalises same-sex relationships.

A release from FIFA issued on Saturday morning confirmed it was partnering with the United Nations agencies to run social campaigns throughout the tournament, with a different campaign for each round.

The quarter-final theme will be “no discrimination”.

The Football Association of Wales and other members of the working group who are committed to wearing the OneLove banner were already due to meet on Saturday, and it is understood the group will seek clarity on this latest move from FIFA.

The FA has not received any response from FIFA to its request last month for permission to wear the OneLove armband, but its chief executive Mark Bullingham has since said England are prepared to be fined for wearing it.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

15 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jack
Jack
11 days ago

He’s quite right. Look at the horrors that the British Empire inflicted on nations like Cymru and then read the Sais media. The hypocrisy is staggering.

Rob
Rob
10 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Except though in football we are recognised as Wales and not as the United Kingdom, so we do have the right to criticise. Whilst the UK in the 21st Century is by no means perfect in regards to human rights, or workers rights it is far better than Qatar’s. Using whataboutisms is not a valid argument.
There was similar criticisms when the tournament was in Brazil, and Russia.

Jack
Jack
10 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I didn’t mean it as a criticism of Cymru. We were the victim’s of Empire.

I meant the English. They have no right to criticise. They only criticise because they’re racists who don’t want an Arabic World Cup.

Rov
Rov
10 days ago
Reply to  Jack

So if a Welshman criticises Qatar thats fine, but if an Englishman does its racist?

Jack
Jack
10 days ago
Reply to  Rov

Cymru mostly haven’t criticised but if they have it’s been out of concern for their fans.
And yes if the English criticise then they are racist. They are a racist country.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
11 days ago

To follow the fool’s ‘logic’ because the romans werent very nice to people a couple of thousand years ago european democracies today have no right to be concerned about the deaths of thousands of migrant workers in qatar or the treatment of LGBTQ+ people and women by the repressive qatari dictatorship. Good to hear the welsh FA (and their english counterparts) have just responded to infantino’s bizzare rant by announcing they will still be wearing the ‘OneLove’ armbands in qatar – and if the qatari authorities (or their stooge infantino) tries to prevent them from doing so they should get… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Leigh Richards
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
11 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

I agree absolutely. Mind you the treatment of migrants and LGBT+ people in the disUK is pretty disgusting at the moment too. They are not murdering people, “just” sending them to Rwanda or spreading hatred and disinformation, but something about stones and glasshouses?
We should condemn both.

Last edited 10 days ago by Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
10 days ago

Agree 100% 👍

George Thomas
George Thomas
11 days ago

The UK decriminalised homosexuality in 1967, and there are steps still to take before we can say things are equal, which is not that long ago. The UK government has continued to have incredibly close relationship with Qatar and other states with questionable human rights records. For these reasons, I can just about recognise what FIFA are saying here, but Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010 and what progress has been achieved since then? What progress will be achieved in 12, 24, 36 months? FIFA asked us to engage with Russia in 2018, going as far to accept… Read more »

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
10 days ago
Reply to  George Thomas

Decriminalising homosexuality in 1967. Seems like they are trying to RE-criminalise it for some right now. Our government, the hate-propaganda media and a shouty part of the population have no claim on the moral high ground here.
On all the rest I agree

notimejeff
notimejeff
11 days ago

There is no official representation for supporters’ groups in FIFA. Decisions are taken without consultation of any kind. It’s still a remote, autocratic institution.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
11 days ago

Bribe taker hits out at criticism of bribers.
That said, the history of the west is littered with oppression murder racism and xenophobia.
THAT said, Qatar are still and openly oppressing and murdering their own citizens for purely ideological reasons.
Just because OTHER people commit crimes, should we let a criminal off the hook?
FIFA really are a disgustingly corrupt orgsnisation

Marc
Marc
10 days ago

He was arrested soon after this press conference just for feeling gay!

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
10 days ago

I would question where the money is coming from and who is getting it and why?

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
9 days ago

From Qatari government into his personal bank account. Perk of the job as head of FIFA. Unchallenged bribery

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.