Gianni Infantino oh dear …. by Dan Smith
Forget about Qatar for a moment, the 52 was old was elected to reform FIFA.
That’s his job, what he gets paid lots of money to do so.
Up to this week, he’s said the right things to portray himself nothing like Sepp Blatter.
Yet less than 48 hours before the World Cup kicks off, he followed through with essentially what Qatar paid voters to do over a decade ago (of course that will never be publicly admitted).
Here was the man essentially in charge of the sport reciting a monologue that lasted over 50 minutes defending the host nation, pointing out to the progress they have made and telling Europe where they have gone wrong in the past.
He never once condemned anything about their Human Rights Record.
He then had one of his employees (who happened to be ‘gay’) tell a stunned room that Mr Infantino does care and that same sexed couples will be welcomed.
Two males from Europe telling a worldwide press conference how great a country is.
If you wanted to know what ‘Sport Washing is’ this is it.
A nation where Football is not popular, pay millions to have rights to events so popular they know eyes will be on the product, so by association the focus is on them.
That’s when they write cheques big enough for those with influence to promote their propaganda.
Just to make it shadier, journalists had their microphones silenced, asking questions only when permitted.
In other words, they were forced to hear this speech like they were in front of a Mafia leader.
Of course, his timing wasn’t a coincidence.
He’s had years to challenge the West’s concerns and seemed sympathetic up to the eve of the tournament?
Maybe certain players and associations would have boycotted had FIFA stressed this was their moral compass sooner?
Just like why for 12 years they were adamant visitors could purchase alcohol in stadiums.
They cynically waited for tickets and flights to be booked before revealing they were lying.
Mr Infantino told the 32 competing teams to not focus on politics.
Not just was he contradicting his own rules, the only politics he wanted to preach was the history of Europe and not the Middle East.
Only FIFA could let the head man get away with saying he represented, migrants, disabled and gays and not point out how those groups are treated in the very place he was sitting.
It was surreal.
If you knew nothing about respective laws, the way he was speaking you would have assumed the West was in the wrong and this World Cup somehow was offering hope.
I’m assuming the Swiss/Italian is an educated man and doesn’t believe most of his dialogue. He knows that viewers know why he’s saying what’s coming out of his mouth.
He knows that being a foreigner in a country can’t be compared to the discrimination you face in Qatar if you’re a female who doesn’t do what she’s told, and/or you love the same gender.
It’s sick to pretend you can relate to Migrant workers when 6,500 have been reported dead due to the conditions they faced building stadiums.
Those figures have come from Embassys.
Tell those families what’s better ….
Europe with it struct rule for immigrants?
Or Qatar handing out jobs that leads to death?
Mr Infantino is correct of course to point out the West hasn’t always been and isn’t perfect now.
Pick any country, there will a moment in time where you could question their morality.
Yet, saying something wrong now being okay, because something was wrong before, is quite a weak stance.
I’m quite sure you would fail your history homework if that was your argument,
So, it’s embarrassing that a grown adult in such a high-profile role should be making it.
You can learn from history though. If I look at England’s past, I don’t agree with every action taken from every king, Queen or Government that ever ran the country.
That’s why you learn from what went on before.
That’s why a generation are saying that in 2022 the world should be above issues where a human is judged on what they look like or their life choices.
That’s why I feel the notion of ‘don’t mix politics with sport’ is something FIFA hide behind.
No one is telling any nation how their country should be run and if you’re a tourist you should respect the culture your visiting.
All your asking is for Human Right Laws to be followed.
If you can’t do that, then maybe you shouldn’t be hosting a World Cup?
FIFA’s own rules stress that any association connected to them shouldn’t discriminate in anyway or be controlled by their governments.
If FIFA disagree, then why pretend for 12 years that wasn’t the case?