FIFA chief Gianni Infantino hits out at Qatar criticism saying European countries should instead ‘be apologising for the next 3,000 years’
The head of FIFA, which oversees international soccer, says European countries should apologize for their own histories rather than criticizing Qatar for hosting the World Cup.
At a press conference to mark the start of the competition, Gianni Infantino stated that detractors were not in a position “to give moral lessons to people.”
The tiny Middle Eastern country has drawn criticism for how it treats migrant labor and how it views homosexual rights.
However, Mr. Infantino asserted, “Before beginning to impart moral lessons to people, we Europeans should be making remorse for the next 3,000 years for what we have done around the world in the previous 3,000 years.
“How many of these European or Western businesses that make millions or billions from Qatar have brought up the rights of migrant workers with the authorities?
“None of them, because changing the law would reduce earnings. But we did, and FIFA brings in significantly less revenue from Qatar than any of these businesses.”
Added him: “I feel Qatari today. I’m feeling Arabic today. My current mood is African. I feel gay today. I feel unable today. I feel like a migrant worker right now.
“It goes without saying that I am not from Qatar, an Arab, an African, gay, or crippled.
“However, I feel that way because I understand what it’s like to face prejudice and bullying while a foreigner in a foreign land.
“I experienced bullying as a child because of my red hair, freckles, and Italian heritage.
“So what do you do? You attempt to interact and make friends.
“Begin conversing; don’t start blaming, fighting, or insulting.
And this is what we ought to be carrying out.
The “kafala system” in Qatar is a set of labor rules that enables Qatari citizens or corporations to seize employees’ passports and prevent them from leaving the country.
According to human rights organizations, this has given developers carte blanche to take advantage of them, subjecting them to inhumane working conditions for meager pay and preventing them from going home until projects are completed.
In the 12 years leading up to the event, there have been reports of migrant worker deaths ranging from a few dozen to several thousand.
Same-sex sexual behavior in Qatar is punishable by anything from seven years in prison to the death by stoning, according to Sharia law.