FIFA president goes against critics of Qatar 2022
Less than a day before the start of the World Cup, Gianni Infantino exploded in front of the press because of the negative atmosphere around the tournament.
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“What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3,000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons,” expressed the leader of the world soccer governing body, in a press conference shared by CNN.
Although the controversial decision to assign the World Cup to Qatar was made when Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, was not in charge of the entity, he has had to be the main defender of a tournament that has been, since its appointment, in the eye of the hurricane due to the repeated and eloquent violations of freedoms and human rights in the organizing country.
While international artists declined the invitation to perform at the opening events of the World Cup, precisely because of the controversy surrounding human rights in Qatar, social networks question why no one asks the players not to participate.
The truth is that, although the protests will not stop, the World Cup will take place and this situation will become another anecdote in the history of football.
“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,” noted Infantino amid the whispers of the auditorium.
The FIFA president recalled his own experience with discrimination and highlighted the progress made in Qatar, warning that profound changes take time and that FIFA will continue to support this process beyond the World Cup.
“Reform and change takes time. It took hundreds of years in our countries in Europe. It takes time everywhere, the only way to get results is by engaging […] not by shouting,” stressed Infantino while suggesting that many Western journalists will forget about the issues after the end of the tournament.
One of the main controversies around Qatar 2022 has revolved around the rights of the LGBTQ community, since homosexuality in this country is illegal and is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
“Let me mention as well, the LGBT situation. I have been speaking about this topic with the highest leadership of the country several times, not just once. They have confirmed, and I can confirm, that everyone is welcome”, highlighted Infantino ensuring that the tournament is for everyone.
“This is a clear FIFA requirement. Everyone has to be welcomed, everyone that comes to Qatar is welcome whatever religion, race, sexual orientation, belief she or he has. Everyone is welcome. This was our requirement and the Qatari state sticks to that requirement,” concluded Infantino.