FIFA chief Gianni Infantino defends Qatar ahead of World Cup

He then tackled one issue after another, expressing his anger at the fact that, in his view, the reality of life in Qatar was so different from what was written in the papers, which he went out of his way to say he had overlooked.

He insisted that concerns about the treatment of LGBTQ+ people at the World Cup were overblown and has repeatedly said they are welcome in Qatar, even though homosexuality is still criminalized in the country.

“Everyone’s safety is guaranteed at the highest level of government,” Infantino said. “That’s a pledge we made and we’re going to stick to it.”

He then tried to play down Friday’s sudden shift in beer supply at stadiums, a last-minute change that shocked longtime FIFA partner Budweiser. Far from souring the relationship, Infantino insisted, the sudden rupture strengthened it with the brewers.

He offered no evidence to back up his claim, a day after Budweiser released a statement appearing to grudgingly accept a decision that was not negotiated by Qatar and FIFA, which Infantino insisted was out of their control. of.

The sudden reversal of years of promises by tournament organizers has raised questions about the authority of FIFA’s own competition, with members of the highest-ranking Qatari royal family calling for a ban on beer. However, Infantino insisted that all decisions, even those late and clearly influenced by royal decrees, were taken jointly.

“I feel 200 percent in control of this World Cup,” he said.

Infantino hints at what underpinned the sudden change to beer and blames it “A threat that was not known before.” His comments also underscored concerns about Qatar’s suitability for such a large event: Infantino says there are four games a day in the opening group stage, all of which will actually be played in one city-state Conducted, a large number of fans in such a compact environment poses a greater risk if they are prodded by bears.

Infantino remained unapologetic when asked if his language was appropriate, going the extra mile whenever he was asked to explain.

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