FIFA urges World Cup hosts to 'focus on football' in Qatar - Liberty

Friday, November 4, 2022

FIFA urges World Cup hosts to 'focus on football' in Qatar


FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

FIFA has sent a letter to the World Cup teams urging them to focus on football in Qatar and not drag the sport into an ideological or political "battle".

The letter from FIFA president Gianni Infantino and governing body's general secretary Fatma Samoura follows numerous protests by World Cup teams, ranging from LGBTIQ rights to concerns about the treatment of migrant workers. is.

"Please, let's focus on football for now!" Sky News quoted Infantino and Samoura in a letter to the 32 nations competing in the World Cup.

“We know that football does not live in a vacuum, and we are equally aware that there are many challenges and difficulties of a political nature around the world. "But don't let football get dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists."

FIFA was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters. The first World Cup to be held in the Middle East will start on November 20th.

Australia's football team last week opposed Qatar's record on human rights and same-sex relations. The Danish Football Union (DBU) told local media last month that Danish players would leave their families at the World Cup in protest against the country's human rights record.

Football Australia confirmed it had received a letter from FIFA on Friday but declined to comment further. Reuters also reached out to the DBU for comment.

People walk at the main media center Qatar National Convention Center ahead of FIFA 2022 Worldcup.

While World Cup organizers have said everyone is welcome regardless of sexual orientation or background, they also warn against showing affection in public.

Qatar admits there are "gaps" in its labor system, but the World Cup has allowed the country to make progress on workers' rights.

"At FIFA, we seek to respect all opinions and beliefs without spreading moral precepts to the world," Infantino said in the letter, according to Sky.

“One of the world’s great strengths is precisely its diversity. If inclusion means anything, it means respecting its diversity. is not "better".

"This principle is the very cornerstone of mutual respect and non-discrimination. And it is also one of the core values ​​of football. So let's all remember that and let football take center stage."