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FIFA president dismisses Western criticism of Qatar as "hypocritical"

MADRID, 19 Nov.

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FIFA president dismisses Western criticism of Qatar as "hypocritical"


The president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, has accused Western countries this Saturday of carrying out an exercise in "hypocrisy" for criticizing the human rights situation in Qatar with a view to holding the World Cup without paying attention to its own historical past. .

"For the things that Europeans have done to the world over the last 3,000 years, another 3,000 should be apologizing before they start giving people moral lessons," the FIFA president said at a press conference.

"How many business companies, European or foreign, that earn millions, billions thanks to Qatar, have discussed the situation of the rights of migrant workers with the authorities? None, because changing the legislation implies fewer benefits," he said. he asked during the appearance, collected by the BBC.

The president opened the press conference with a nearly hour-long monologue in which he defended holding the tournament in a country criticized for repression against activists and the LGBTQ community and mistreatment of foreign workers.

"Today I have very powerful feelings. Today I feel Qatari, I feel Arab, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled, I feel a migrant worker," he assured before qualifying that it was an expression of empathy.

"Of course I am not a Qatari, Arab, African, gay, disabled or migrant worker. But I feel like them because I know what it means to be discriminated against and harassed as a foreigner in a foreign country," he said.

Before the World Cup, the former international of the Qatar soccer team Khalid Salman, one of the several ambassadors of the tournament that will begin this Sunday, declared that being gay is "mental damage" in a documentary on the German public channel ZDF .

For Infantino, "this one-sided moral lesson is just hypocrisy," he argued, before asking himself "why nobody recognizes the progress achieved" in the country. "I don't have to defend Qatar, they can defend themselves. I defend football. Qatar has progressed," he assured.