FIFA chief Infantino slams Europe’s hypocrisy in shocking speech

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has slammed the “hypocrisy” and “racism” of some countries preaching about the World Cup in Qatar and claimed Europe should “apologize for the next 3,000 years” for past mistakes.

Infantino, who will be re-elected unopposed as FIFA president next March, delivered a startling hour-long monologue at the opening of a news conference in Doha on Saturday by defending the rights of migrant workers. The treatment came against critics of Qatar and FIFA, saying LGBTQ+ people were welcome despite a last-minute alcohol ban and insisting he still controls the game.

“It’s sad, especially in the past few weeks, that we’ve been helping to teach a real moral lesson, or a double moral lesson, in some places [standards]’ said Infantino.

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“We’ve been told to take a lot of lessons from some Europeans in the Western world. I’m European. I think for what we Europeans have done around the world for 3,000 years, we should apologize for the next 3,000 years, and then Start giving moral lessons to people.

“How many of these European companies that make millions of dollars come from Qatar or other countries in the region – billions of dollars a year – and how many of them address the rights of migrant workers? I have the answer: none, because if they Changing legislation means less profit.

“But we did. FIFA gets much less revenue from Qatar than any of these companies.”

“We also see here a lot of government representatives from Qatar. I don’t have to defend Qatar in any way, they can defend themselves. I am here to defend football and injustice.

“If there was no petrol, no one would care. But now they’re all here, they all want something. Who really cares about the workers? FIFA cares. Football cares, the World Cup cares, fair to them, Qatar cares about them too. .”

Infantino questioned Europe’s immigration policy and claimed the West could learn from Qatar, which has faced repeated criticism from human rights activists over its treatment of migrant workers.

He said, “Guys, where is the way we work going? Where is the world going? If you take two steps back and look at this immigration issue and where they are, there are thousands of women and men willing to give To provide help to family back home and to those in the future, Qatar is actually giving them this opportunity.

“Thousands of migrant workers, they help their families survive. They do it legally. We are in Europe, we close our borders, we don’t actually allow any workers from these countries to work legally in our country and we all know Europe There are many illegal workers in the country, and the living conditions are not the best.

“Those who got to Europe, those who wanted to go to Europe, they had to go through a very difficult journey. Only a few survived. So if you really care about the fate of these people, these young people, then Europe can also be like Qatar Do it that way: create some legal channels to at least get some of these workers to come to Europe, take less income, but give them some jobs, give them some future, give them some hope.

“That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t point out that it doesn’t work here in Qatar. Of course, there are things that don’t work and need to be addressed. But this moral lesson is one-sided, it’s just hypocrisy.”

Infantino declared at the beginning of his extraordinary speech that “today I have very strong feelings, 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,” before claiming he understands what it means to be discriminated against because “as a foreigner abroad, as a child in school I was bullied because I had red hair and freckles”.

Turning his attention to LGBTQ+ rights, Infantino reiterated Qatar’s Supreme Council’s insistence that despite the country’s strict anti-gay laws, punishable by death in some cases, all are welcome in the country.

“They have confirmed and I can confirm that everyone is welcome,” Infantino said. “If strange people here or there say otherwise, that’s not the opinion of the country and certainly not that of FIFA. It’s a clear request from FIFA and everyone is welcome.”

“Everyone who comes to Qatar is welcome, regardless of her or his religion, race, sexual orientation, creed, everyone is welcome. This is our demand and the Qatari government insists on it.

“You will tell me: ‘Yes, but there is legislation against this, or anyway, you have to go to jail’. Yes, these legislations exist. They exist in many countries around the world. These legislations existed in Switzerland when they were in 1954 Organized the World Cup in 2019. For workers, these are processes.”

Alcohol was banned in stadiums two days before Sunday’s opening match between Qatar and Ecuador at the request of Qatar’s Supreme Council, despite years of promises by fans that beer would be available for purchase at games.

Infantino insisted that FIFA still had “200 per cent control” of the game and seemed to imply: “If this is our biggest problem with the World Cup, I’ll sign up immediately and go to the beach and relax until December 18th.

β€œLet me begin by assuring you that every decision taken at this World Cup is a joint decision between Qatar and FIFA. Every decision is discussed, debated and taken jointly. Qatar will have more than 200 A place where you can buy wine.

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“More than 10 fan zones where over 100,000 people can drink at the same time. I personally think that if you can’t drink beer for three hours a day, you will survive, especially since practically the same rules apply in France or Spain or Portugal or Bears are not allowed in Scottish stadiums.

“Here it becomes a big deal because it’s a Muslim country. I don’t know why. We tried. This is of course I give you, a late policy change. Because we tried until the end to see if it It is possible. But one thing is to have a plan and a design, and another thing is when you start putting it into practice.

“You look at the flow of people, you look at the safety of them coming in and out, going to different games. That’s something new at this World Cup in that regard.”

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