Mondial in Qatar: “Participate is not endorse, unless we just participate”

This is a World Cup in Qatar (from November 20 to December 18) whose kick -off will be given in autumn and not in summer, for the first time in history, but which still started more early than expected. At least the debate around this particular edition, which some consider too late, wishing to elude it, is it well launched.

This will have been the merit of calls to act or react. If the conditions are absolutely not met for a boycott on the part of states, federations and selections, the probability of a significant defection of football enthusiasts gains consistency.

Above all, this debate compromises the success of the competition for FIFA and the organizing country: they could believe that the dice were thrown away and that the torrent of sports news would carry the scruples and the moods.

During these weeks preceding the tournament, the balance of power between the athlete and the extrasportive is fatally in favor of the second. The pre-mondial is doomed to be the time of a long presentation of the vicissitudes of the event, and that of a litany of mobilizations against him.

pressure on the sponsors

NGOs have understood the interest of taking advantage of it to campaign on specific objectives. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Fairsquare thus ask the national selections to support the creation of a compensation fund, by FIFA and Qatar, workers victims of abuse and unpaid wages on the events of the event.

This pressure is also exercised on sponsors. Four major partners out of fourteen – Adidas, Coca -Cola, McDonald’s and AB INBEV – support the process. The others are exposed to the name and shame (designate an official to cover it with shame). By targeting one of the main sources of income for FIFA, associations strike its sensitive point.

Faced with the magnitude of the discomfort, no protagonist will escape the arrests. The pass of weapons between the French Football Federation and Amnesty shows the impossibility of sticking to a posture of neutrality that has become untenable, to a “sporting apoliticalism” which has shattered a little more last year.

The NGO, regretting, on September 23, the “deafening silence” of the FFF, forced it to get out the next day. In a statement, she protested her concern for human rights in the emirate, while welcoming “social advances” accomplished by the latter – it is the discourse of FIFA.

Admittedly, the federation is no longer, like its president, Noël Le Graët, in April, to rejoice “that [the French team] comes to play in Qatar”. But by irritating to her “stigmatization” by Amnesty, she still has a delay speech.

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/Media reports.