FIFA president Gianni Infantino has accused the West of hypocrisy for reporting on the human rights situation in Qatar ahead of the World Cup.
In an extraordinary monologue at a press conference in Doha, Infantino spoke for almost half an hour and passionately defended Qatar and the organization of the World Cup, BBC television reports .
The event was overshadowed by several issues in Qatar, such as the death of migrant workers and the treatment of the LGBT community.
Infantino began the speech by saying: “Today I have strong feelings. Today I feel Qatar, I feel the Arabs, I feel the Africans, I feel the gays, I feel the people with special needs, I feel the immigrant worker.”
In February 2021, “The Guardian” newspaper reported that 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka had died in Qatar since winning the candidacy of this country to host the World Cup.
The figure was based on numbers provided by the embassies of these countries in Qatar. However, the Qatari government has said the overall figure is misleading because not all recorded deaths are of people working on World Cup-related projects.
Infantino said: “I am European. For what we have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we would have to apologize for the next 3,000 years before we can teach moral lessons.”
“If Europe is really upset about the fate of these people, they can create legal channels – as Qatar did – where a number of these workers can come to Europe to work. Give them some future, some hope” – he added.