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Gianni Infantino condemns western ‘hypocrisy’ over Qatar World Cup criticism

Gianni Infantino condemns ‘hypocrisy’ over Qatar World Cup criticism

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has launched an astonishing defence of Qatar from criticism of the most controversial World Cup tournament in history.

The 52-year-old accused western critics of Qatar’s human rights record of hypocrisy and deliberate racism in a tirade that lasted for about an hour in Doha.

Over 6,500 migrant workers have reportedly died in Qatar since the country was first awarded the right to host the World Cup, leading to major criticism from human rights organisations, politicians and the media as the tournament approaches.

However, Infantino, leaping to Qatar’s defence, said (via Guardian) that European nations should spend ‘three-thousand years apologising’ for acts committed in the history of their own countries rather than focusing on the issues of migrant workers in Qatar.

The Swiss-born president also suggested that the West could learn from Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, claiming scrutiny of alleged fake England fans was ‘pure racism’.

“We have been told many, many lessons from some Europeans, from the western world,” he said. “I think for what we Europeans have been doing the last 3,000 years, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people.”

Infantino then pointed out that 25,000 migrants have died trying to get into Europe since 2014 before comparing that with how migrant workers are treated in Qatar. 

“Hundreds of thousands of workers come and earn, they earn ten times more than in their own countries, and they help their families survive,” Infantino added. 

“And they do it in a legal way. We in Europe close our borders, and we don’t practically allow many workers from these countries to work legally.

“If Europe would really care about the destiny of these young people, Europe could do as Qatar did, create some legal channels, where at least a number, a percentage of these workers could come.

“This moral lesson, one-sided, it is just hypocrisy. I wonder why nobody recognises the progress that has been made since 2016”.

In the mind-boggling press conference, the FIFA president also suggested that taking a World Cup tournament to Iran would improve the nation’s situation amid widespread unrest over women’s rights. 

He also revealed that he once travelled to North Korea, attempting to convince their government to joint-host a Women’s World Cup alongside South Korea.

Qatar has found itself in the line of fire, with the tournament now just hours away from kick-off.

FIFA has also urged all 32 participating teams to focus on their football rather than the unrest surrounding the host nation.

Qatar and Ecuador will get the highly anticipated showpiece event up and running at 5.00 pm local time on Sunday evening.

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