Beset FIFA President Gianni Intino defended Qatar World Cup a day before the tournament begins, accusing critics of the nation’s human rights record of hypocrisy.
Speaking after months of concern over the country’s treatment of migrant workers, anger at its LGBTQ laws and doubts over the legitimacy of the decision to hold the tournament there, Infantino said it was wrong for Europe to lecture the Qataris.
“For what we Europeans have been doing for the past 3,000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years, before starting to give moral lessons to people,” Saturday was his statement.
Infantino said there have been improvements in the way migrant workers are treated, partly due to the engagement that’s happened as a result of the World Cup. The eve for one of the most critical World Cups ever! Infantino claimed that his experience as the son to Italian migrants in Switzerland enabled him to understand how it felt to be bullied as an outsider in a foreign land.
In his nearly hour-long speech, he began by saying: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.”
“As a child at school I was bullied because I had red hair and freckles. Plus I was Italian, so imagine,” Infantino said.
After a last-minute change on Friday to the rules on alcohol sales at the event, there are fears that other regulations governing the tournament may also be altered. Infantino tried to reassure the LGBTQ community they’d be safe, despite Qatar’s laws prohibiting homosexuality.
“Gay people are welcome in Qatar,” He stated.
Infantino stated that the Qatar tournament presented many challenges, such as having so many stadiums located within close proximity to one another. He said that this was one reason for the new beer rules, but he didn’t seem to mind the ban.
“If this is the biggest issue we have for the World Cup, then I will resign immediately and go to the beach to relax,” Infantino stated, adding that fans Could survive without You can have a beer for up to three hours.
The FIFA Chief said that the tournament would beat the revenues from Russia World Cup Four years ago, in terms of media rights and sponsorship, ticketing would surpass the $5.4 billion mark.
“If so many people invest in the World Cup and in Qatar, they invest because they believe in FIFA and trust Qatar,” Infantino said.
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