FIFA President Gianni Infantino blasted the “hypocrisy” of Western critics of Qatar’s human rights file on Saturday, making an impassioned protection of the Gulf state’s World Cup simply earlier than kick-off.
The build-up to the match has been dominated by issues over Qatar’s therapy of migrant employees, girls and the LGBT group, to the seen annoyance of the organisers.
Qatari officers say their nation has been the goal of “racism” and “double standards” and level to labor and security reforms which have been hailed as groundbreaking within the area.
Soccer itself once more took a backseat on Saturday, with the concentrate on off-field politics simply 24 hours earlier than hosts Qatar have been to open the match in opposition to Ecuador.
Infantino, talking at his opening press convention of the match in Doha, had harsh phrases for critics of Qatar.
“This moralizing – one-sided – is just hypocrisy,” the Swiss mentioned.
“I don’t want to lecture you on life, but what’s going on here is deeply, deeply unfair.”
He added: “For what we Europeans have done in the last 3,000 years, we should apologize for the next 3,000 years before we start giving moral lessons to people.”
Infantino additionally expressed his help for marginalized communities.
“Today I feel Qatari, today I feel Arab, today I feel African, today I feel gay, today I feel disabled, today I feel a migrant worker,” he mentioned.
One other concern that has dominated the build-up to the match is the sale of beer within the Islamic nation, which severely restricts alcohol consumption.
The organizers made a dramatic U-turn on Friday and banned the sale of beer across the stadiums simply 48 hours earlier than kick-off.
World soccer’s governing physique FIFA didn’t give a motive for the shock resolution, however media studies mentioned there had been an intervention from Qatar’s ruling household.
Dozens of Budweiser beer tents had already been arrange on the lot earlier than the primary sport.
Infantino made mild of the late change on Saturday.
“I personally believe that if you can’t drink a beer for three hours a day, you will survive,” he mentioned. “The same is true in France, Spain, Scotland.”
(Axadle with AFP)