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FIFA chief Gianni Infantino shows bizarre tirade on eve of World Cup

Gianni Infantino said he feels he is gay. What he feels like a woman. He feels like a migrant worker. He preached to Europeans who criticized Qatar’s human rights record and defended the host country’s last-minute decision. ban beer from world cup stadiums.

FIFA President presents hour-long tirade On the eve of the World Cup opening matchthen spent approximately 45 minutes answering questions from the media on Qatari government actions and a wide range of other topics.

“Today I feel Qatar,” Infantino said at the opening of the first World Cup press conference on Saturday. “Today I feel Arab. Today I feel Africa. Today I feel gay. Today I feel a disability.Today I feel a migrant worker.”

Infantino later hit back at one reporter who noticed he left out women from the unusual declaration.

“I feel like a woman,” replied the FIFA president.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Preview
FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks at the pre-World Cup press conference in Doha, Qatar on 19 November 2022.

Getty Images

Qatar is faced daily criticism It was chosen by FIFA in 2010 to host the world’s largest soccer tournament.

The migrant workers who built Qatar’s World Cup stadiums often worked long hours under harsh conditions and were subjected to discrimination, wage theft, and other abuses as employers avoided accountability.

“They are like everyone else in the world,” said founder Mustafa Kadri. Equidem organization, told CBS News this week about migrant workers. “You want to have a better life than your parents. You want your children to go to college to have a better life than you. So you’re desperate for a chance.”

“I think hundreds of workers died to make this World Cup possible,” Kadri added, but admitted it was impossible to determine an exact figure.

Infantino defended the country’s immigration policy and praised the government for bringing immigrants into the workplace.

“Europe has closed its borders and effectively does not allow workers from countries with clearly very low incomes to work legally,” Infantino said. “If Europe really cared about the fate of these people, these young people, Europe could do what Qatar did.

“But give them a job. Give them a future. Give them hope. But this moral precept is one-sided and hypocritical.”

Qatar is ruled by hereditary chiefs who have absolute say in all government decisions and follow an ultra-conservative form of Islam known as Wahhabism. Qatar has undergone a transformation in recent years following her 1990s natural gas boom, but faces pressure from within to remain true to its Islamic traditions and Bedouin roots.

Under intense international scrutiny, Qatar has enacted a number of labor reforms in recent years that have been praised by Equidem and other rights groups. But advocates say abuse remains pervasive and workers have little recourse.

But Infantino continued to attack the Qatari government’s point of returning criticism to the West.

“For what we Europeans have done for the last 3000 years, we must apologize for the next 3000 before we give people a moral lesson.”

In response to his comments, the human rights group Amnesty International said that Infantino, by ignoring the price paid by migrant workers to make the Games possible and FIFA’s responsibility for it, was a “legitimate human rights critic.” are ignoring,” he said.

Steve Cockburn, Amnesty International’s Head of Economic and Social Justice, said: “Demands for equality, dignity and reparation cannot be treated as a kind of culture war. They must be respected by FIFA in its own terms. It is a universal human right that promises

Qatar backlash:

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s televised speech on 25 October claimed the country was “subjected to an unprecedented campaign never before faced by any host country”, voicing Qatar’s response to any criticism. You have shown a turning point in your approach.

Since then, government ministers and senior staff of World Cup organizers have dismissed European criticism as racist and called for the creation of compensation funds for migrant workers’ families.

what about Europe?

Qatar has often been criticized for laws that criminalize homosexuality, restrict women’s liberty, and deny citizenship to immigrants.

“How many homosexuals have been prosecuted in Europe?” Infantino said, echoing earlier comments that European countries had similar laws until recent generations. We seem to have forgotten.”

He reminded me that in some parts of Switzerland women were only given the right to vote in the 1990s.

He also accused FIFA and the European and North American countries he said didn’t open their borders to welcome girls and women playing soccer, which Qatar worked to help pull out of Afghanistan last year. .

Albania was the only country to make headway, he said.

“one love:”

Seven of Europe’s 13 teams at the World Cup will participate in a Dutch campaign called ‘One Love’, which said their captains would wear anti-discrimination armbands at matches, in violation of FIFA rules.

FIFA declined to comment publicly on the matter or on its request to the European Football Federation to support a compensation fund for the families of migrant workers.

The counterattack came on Saturday.

FIFA now has its own armband designs with more generic slogans in collaboration with various UN agencies. It says “Share The Meal”.

In the quarterfinals, “No Discrimination” will be used.

A few hours later, the German Football Federation decided to stick with the heart-shaped, multi-colored ‘One Love’ armband logo.

FIFA also wants to create a legacy fund from earnings related to this year’s World Cup.

“People who invest a certain amount become part of the board of directors who can decide where the money goes,” Infantino said.

Legacy funds from the last World Cup went directly to the host country’s football. His $100 million was donated by FIFA to South Africa in 2010 and to Brazil in 2014. Some of the money was spent on new vehicles for officials and other more obscure projects.

Two priorities for this global project are education and a ‘place of excellence’ in partnership with the United Nations-backed International Labor Organization.

media jive:

British media reported this week that a fan cheering outside the team hotel in an England jersey was an Indian who lived and worked in Qatar.

About 1,500 fans from 31 visiting teams traveled to the World Cup, singing at Sunday’s opening ceremony and following reports from Qatar’s project to stay to post positive social media content about the host country.

It fueled the long-standing narrative that Qatar pays people to be sports fans.

“You know what this is? This is racism. This is pure racism,” Infantino said of his criticism of the England cheerleaders. “Everyone in the world had the right to root for whoever he wanted.”

Infantino knew he would be re-elected as FIFA president in March, but knew he would not be opposed.

“Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll be here for another four years,” he told reporters on Saturday.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fifa-chief-gianni-infantino-bizarre-tirade-qatar-world-cup/ FIFA chief Gianni Infantino shows bizarre tirade on eve of World Cup

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