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  • snitzoid

I love this guy. Fifa picks a fricken Unicorn

You place the World Cup in some dirtbag Sheikdom (god I'm articulate) and accuse your detractors of being hypocrites because of ...drum roll...colonization. Genius! Talk about pulling some retreaded cobweb laden shit out of your holster. This is one bald-headed white dude with some elephant-sized gonads.

Seriously, I can forgive the human rights violations but stopping event beer sales! That's a crime against humanity.

FIFA President Defends Qatar World Cup by Criticizing Europe

Gianni Infantino delivered an hourlong defense of the decision to hold the tournament in a country with human rights issues and a ban on homosexuality

FIFA president Gianni Infantino spoke during a media briefing at the Qatar World Cup.

By Joshua Robinson

Nov. 19, 2022 8:19 am ET

DOHA, Qatar—The president of soccer’s global governing body, Gianni Infantino, on Saturday defended Qatar’s right to host the World Cup, breaking months of silence on the country’s human rights record by hitting back at those who he said were giving lectures on morality.

In an hour-long monologue on the eve of the tournament’s opening game, Infantino argued that Qatar’s critics had failed to recognize the country’s progress on workers’ rights, accused the West of “hypocrisy,” defended Iran’s participation in the tournament, and suggested hosting tournaments in Iran and North Korea to provoke social change.

“I think for what we Europeans have been doing the past 3,000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people,” Infantino, a Swiss lawyer who has spent more than 20 years in soccer administration, said in a broad reference to European countries’ history of colonization.

In the 12 years since Qatar won the hosting rights to this World Cup, the tournament has become one of the most controversial sporting events in history. For the tiny emirate organizing the first World Cup in the Arab world, issues included Qatar’s treatment of the migrant workers it relied on to build roads, stadiums, and hotels and the country’s laws banning homosexuality. But Infantino argued that much of the criticism from the West boiled down to racism when in fact the World Cup should promote unity.

“Today I feel Qatari,” Infantino said as he opened his news conference here. “Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.”

Infantino is none of those, but sought to show solidarity with a broad group of constituencies. He also renewed his request for fans and players to focus on soccer. Less than a month ago, he sent a letter to all 32 qualified teams asking that they “not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.”

Yet even Infantino, who routinely rubs elbows with presidents and dictators around the world, couldn’t resist a foray into politics as he explained how soccer could be an agent of change.

“We’re organizing a World Cup. We’re not organizing a war,” Infantino said. “If we could organize a competition in North Korea, I would be the first to go to North Korea.”

Most of his comments were reserved for the migrant worker issue, which several teams have refused to ignore. Precisely how many migrant workers were injured or died on construction sites associated with the World Cup is unknown, but human rights groups put the number in the hundreds. Qatar insists that it is just 37, with only three being directly work-related.

The international outrage did, however, provoke plenty of changes. Qatar’s often exploitative system of worker visas was dismantled. The country also imposed a minimum wage. And international trade unions recognize that working conditions have improved across the board. As for those arguing that the families of migrant workers should be compensated for unpaid wages, injuries, or death, Infantino said that Qatar had already paid out more than $350 million to workers since 2018 and would continue to make payments for years to come.

This situation, he said, was better than in many European countries, where the number of migrant workers is strictly controlled.

“This one-sided moral lesson is just hypocrisy,” Infantino added. “If you want to criticize someone, criticize me, you can crucify me. I’m here for that… Don’t criticize Qatar.”

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