FIFA president hits out at criticism of Qatar hosting World Cup
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.”
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.
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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.
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.
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.
So if a Welshman criticises Qatar thats fine, but if an Englishman does its racist?
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.
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 »
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.
Agree 100% 👍
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 »
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
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.
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
He was arrested soon after this press conference just for feeling gay!
I would question where the money is coming from and who is getting it and why?
From Qatari government into his personal bank account. Perk of the job as head of FIFA. Unchallenged bribery