FIFA Chief Gianni Infantino accuses World Cup host Qatar’s critics of hypocrisy

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FiFA Chief Gianni Infantino accuses World Cup host Qatar

FIFA president Gianni Infantino lashed out at the critics of World Cup host Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers of hypocrisy in a press conference on Saturday, 19 November. 

The FIFA chief challenged the western countries to come forward and contribute to the World Cup legacy fund in order to become a helping hand for the migrant workers. 

“I am European. For what we have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before giving moral lessons,” Infantino said.

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“I have difficulties understanding the criticism. We have to invest in helping these people, in education and to give them a better future and more hope. We should all educate ourselves, many things are not perfect but reform and change take time”, he added. 

According to him, the one-sided moral lesson is just hypocrisy by the western world. “Today I feel Qatari, Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel (like) a migrant worker.”

Remembering the days when he was bullied for having red hair in a foreign country, Infantino said, “Of course, I am not Qatari. Of course, I am not an Arab. I am not African. I am not gay. I am not disabled. I feel like it because I know what it means to be discriminated against, to be bullied.

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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”.

While addressing Qatar’s decision against the sale of beer at Stadiums during the World Cup, he said that FIFA tried to persuade the Qatari Government, but the organization failed to get the ban reversed. 

“We tried and that is why I give you the late change of policy,” he said. “We tried to see if it was possible.” 

On the other hand, reassuring the human rights activists and fans around the world regarding Qatar’s acceptance of fans belonging to the LGBT community Infantino said the Qatari Government has conveyed that the LGBT people would be welcome to watch the World Cup in the country. 

Qatar had been criticized by human rights activists around the world due to their policies regarding the LGBT community. Same-gender relations are illegal, with imprisonment of up to three years in the Arab country. 

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