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The World Cup in Qatar will take place from 20 November to 18 December. Never had an event been so divisive. Despite all the excesses, let’s not confuse the guilty.
“World of shame”, She said the newspaper Mediaparty. ” Without us “, titled The meeting newspaper, the first French newspaper to boycott the event. Several French cities will not broadcast matches. The personalities have publicly shown their disgust at a World Cup they won’t watch. Like former footballers Éric Cantona and Vikash Dhorasoo, or actors like Vincent Lindon. Disgusted by the conditions in which Qatar can host this planetary meeting … at the cost of 6,500 dead on construction sites, human rights violated, total indifference to global warming. And suspicions of corruption regarding the assignment of this World Cup. In short, all the lights are red.
Football fans, inevitably subject to cognitive bias, no longer know whether or not they should presume, in public, the fact that they will follow this ultra-controversial World Cup. The same ones who, in a survey conducted at the end of October of Harris Interactive for RMC, 28% say they will boycott the meeting while 93% of respondents, in this same survey, are preparing to watch the meetings, at least those of Didier Deschamps’ men. Paradoxical. Viewers don’t know what to do. As if they felt guilty for the humanitarian excesses taking place in Qatar. Does attending a meeting of the French team during this World Cup mean supporting the use of thousands of slaves so that a small country of 3 million inhabitants can host a sports competition? I do not believe that.
Let’s not point the finger at the “average” Frenchman, who will be sitting in front of his television at the end of November. These football fans – inveterate or for the time of a World Cup, a final, a first half. “Football fans must be able to enjoy their sport without being taken hostage by FIFA’s dramatic decisions, both on a human and ecological level”, denounces the NGO Notre Affaire à Tous. These are undoubtedly the real culprits. Who said yes, in 2010, to a World Cup in Qatar.
Twelve years ago, human rights in Doha were at best the same as they are today, at worst even more deplorable. Kafala was officially abolished only in 2016. This sponsorship system that establishes a bond of subordination between foreign workers in Qatar, who most often come from the Philippines, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh or even Sri Lanka , and their employer. This same system that prohibits foreign workers from leaving the territory of Qatar without the permission of their sponsor. Indeed, this modern slavery remains. “Qatar uses communication to make people believe they have stopped kafala, it’s a question of image”, Pierre Rondeau, sports economist, told me a few weeks ago.
And in terms of the environment, our planet hasn’t burned for just a few months. The famous Giec, whose chronicles follow one another and the results get worse, was created in 1988. Before publishing a first report in 1990. A few years earlier, in 1987, sustainable development received its official definition. It was during the writing of the Brundtland report: “a development that meets the needs of the present…”, the rest knows. Environmental awareness dates back well before 2010. FIFA acted consciously.
And now the world is paying the price. Seven of the eight stadiums that will host the World Cup will be air-conditioned … and open to the sky. Not sure if Qatar uses the air conditioning for this particular event (the World Cup will take place in winter), but the Gulf State to establish it soft power through sport, he is already thinking about the future. Palme de aberration: “Due to lack of space in Doha to host all the fans, Qatar has set up a system of plane shuttles to transport them from neighboring countries to the stadiums “, recall our colleagues from Novethic.
Will the boycott help? “Even if it is now too late to cancel the suffering caused by past violations, FIFA and Qatar can and must act to prevent further abuse, but also to allocate compensation to all those who have returned the World Cup. Possible”, we defend Amnesty International. The NGO does not call for a boycott as it did in 1978 in Argentina: the country was then under a military dictatorship. But he is demanding the levy of 420 million euros in Fifa’s finances. The target. the goal? establish an indemnity fund for the families of dead or exploited workers at Mondial sites. This sum is equivalent to the total envelope distributed to the federations participating in the final phase …
… An action that will not bring back the thousands of dead workers. But who would recognize part of FIFA’s responsibility in all these excesses. After that of Qatar, of course. So the spectators of football matches have nothing to do with this. Absolutely nothing.