On World Cup 2022 Eve, FIFA Chief Infantino Defends Qatar, Accuses West of Hypocrisy

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (Image credit: Twitter/@Football__Tweet) - Sakshi Post

Doha: FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called out the “hypocrisy” of the West in its coverage of Qatar's human rights record and treatment of migrant workers on the eve of the World Cup. 

Addressing a global press conference in Doha, the capital city of Qatar on Saturday, Infantino said European critics should be looking at the continent’s own history before “giving moral lessons to people”. 

“What we Europeans have been doing for the past 3,000 years we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before we start giving moral lessons to people,'' Infantino told reporters here. 

According to a report in the Guardian in February 2021, 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since the Arab country won the bid to host the FIFA world cup in 2010. However, the Qatari government has said the death toll is misleading as most of the deceased were not working on World Cup-related projects. 

“This one-sided moral lesson is just hypocrisy. I wonder why no-one recognises the progress made here since 2016,” Infantino added. 

Gianni Infantino, who became the FIFA president in February 2016, passionately defended Qatar as the tournament has been eclipsed by the deaths of migrant workers who built the stadiums and other sports infrastructure in the Arab country and also the Qatari government’s treatment of LGBT community. 

“I don't have to defend Qatar, they can defend themselves. I defend football. Qatar has made progress and I feel many other things as well,” the FIFA president said.

“Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel a migrant worker,” Infantino said. 

Responding to Qatar’s last minute ban on sale of beer at World Cup stadiums, Infantino said it was a ‘joint decision’.

“Let me first assure you that every decision taken at this World Cup is a joint decision between Qatar and Fifa.” FIFA chief said adding, “There will be many fan zones where you can buy alcohol in Qatar and fans can simultaneously drink alcohol. I think if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive.”

Also Read: Watch: Iranian Protesters Torch Ayatollah Khomeini’s Ancestral Home

(With inputs from agencies) 

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