“Focus on football” during the World Cup? Ten European countries refuse to comply with FIFA (not France) – Liberation

FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, a controversial worldcase

In a letter signed on Sunday, these countries, excluding France, demand “concrete answers” regarding the compensation fund for migrant workers and the concept of a center for migrant workers in Doha .

The letter sent by FIFA last week did not please everyone. The football body asked the 32 countries participating in the World Cup in Qatar “focus on football” during the competition month. In other words, human rights controversies are not to be waved off and temporarily put aside. On Sunday, ten European federations signed a joint letter to remind FIFA of their desire to continue their policy of support for human rights in Qatar. Of the signatory countries, eight will participate in the World Cup (England, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Wales), to which Norway and Sweden have been added. All are part of UEFA’s working group on human and labor rights. The French Football Federation (FFF) too, but it is not among the signatories.

Contacted Release“3F” approximates that.“Such public interpellation is not the right way to contribute to a positive evolution of the demands made”that is disputed “some other federations” share his opinion and “I don’t want to be associated with this new initiative”. The FFF says it favors an exchange “to FIFA to work on a World Cup legacy.” He will stay “be aware of situations within its sphere of competence”he wrote, which was also mentioned as obtained “only a report of the social conditions of the employees of its service providers” is given to him every week from now on.

“Concrete answers”

In their joint statement, the mutineer nations first welcomed assurances from the government of Qatar and FIFA regarding the safety of supporters at the World Cup, including LGBTQ+ supporters. The group also recognized that “significant progress” has been achieved regarding the rights of migrant workers, “that every country has problems and challenges and we agree with FIFA that diversity is a strength”said these countries.

Despite everything, they made a point of recalling their continued commitment to migrant workers ahead of the tournament. And intend to continue “to maintain the momentum for positive and progressive change and to promote a successful outcome and an update on the two main outstanding issues that we have been discussing at FIFA for a long time”. They ask for “concrete answers” regarding the two “key issues” : the compensation fund for migrant workers that Qatar refuses to create and the concept of a center for migrant workers in Doha.

“FIFA has made several commitments to provide concrete answers to these questions. […] and we will continue to push to provide these answers, we read in the press release. We believe in the power of football to make new positive and credible contributions to progressive and lasting change in the world. […] Accepting diversity and tolerance also means supporting human rights. Human rights are universal and applicable everywhere,” remind the signatories.

FIFA does not want to “give moral lessons to the rest of the world”

Last week, Gianni Infantino and Fatma Samoura, respectively president and secretary general of the body, in a letter from FIFA, wrote to 32 countries, with the aim of guarding against any claims or actions that will not be subject to football during the World Cup. Unusual in its tone, this letter mentions, without naming them, the positions taken by some selections in respect of the rights of workers and LGBT + of the small emirate, which has also been criticized for the cost of competition environment. “We know that football does not exist in a vacuum, and we are equally aware of the many challenges and difficulties of a political nature in the world, agreement of the two leaders. But please don’t let football get dragged into every ideological or political battle.”

In fact, FIFA has not said whether it approves or disapproves of the wearing of rainbow-colored armbands, with the message “One Love” by several European selection captains – including England, France and Germany. , in a country that criminalizes same-sex relationships. He also did not respond to the video released two weeks ago by sixteen members of the Australian team, which criticized the lack of respect for human rights and explained that they have “listened to organizations”such as Amnesty International and, “Above all, the foreign workers in Qatar”. But, in general terms, say Gianni Infantino and Fatma Samoura “try to respect all opinions and beliefs, without giving moral lessons to the rest of the world”calling for respect for “diversity”.

“No person, culture or country is ‘better’ than another. This principle is the foundation of mutual respect and non-discrimination. And this is also one of the main values ​​of football., they hammered. Amnesty International, through its head of economic and social justice Steve Cockburn, estimated that “If Gianni Infantino wants the world to ‘focus on football’, there is a simple solution: for FIFA to start dealing with serious human rights issues instead of sweeping them under the rug”.

Update at 3:30 pm with FFF reaction

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