‘Offensive’ speech lifts mask on ‘dirty’ World Cup

Embattled FIFA president Gianni Infantino continues to cop serious heat as the hours count down to the 2022 World Cup opening ceremony.

Infantino delivered a pre-Cup speech on Saturday which has been panned by all and sundry for its insensitivity and tone deafness.

The Qatar World Cup has been tainted from the start, and is getting no less controversial despite the tournament arriving.

READ MORE: Kangaroos win World Cup to end Samoa fairytale

READ MORE: FIFA president shredded over ‘repulsive’ speech

READ MORE: United reveals ‘appropriate steps’ amid Ronaldo storm

The Qatari government has been heavily criticized for using migrant workers to build the stadiums and other infrastructure, and many of those workers have died in the process.

The gulf nation also has laws banning homosexuality, and has now ruled alcohol will not be sold in any of the stadiums during the World Cup.

Infantino, however, seems to have his blinkers on when it comes to the numerous serious issues.

“What we Europeans have been doing for the past 3000 years we should be apologizing for the next 3000 years before we start giving moral lessons to people,” Infantino said in a truly bizarre speech.

“Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel a migrant worker.”

READ MORE: FIFA president shredded over ‘repulsive’ speech

READ MORE: United reveals ‘appropriate steps’ amid Ronaldo storm

READ MORE: World Cup’s $1.95b squad that dwarfs Socceroos

The tone-deaf FIFA boss was taken to task by Sky Sports reporter Melissa Reddy in a passionate on-air editorial.

“You do not know what it feels like to be gay, you do not know what it feels like to be disabled, you do not know what it feels like to be African,” Reddy said.

FIFA president’s bizarre pre-World Cup speech

“You can not conflate being discriminated against because of red hair and freckles to what any of the groups you’ve just referenced have experienced.

“You can’t negate their experience by saying you feel what they feel. It is an absolutely stounding address from the FIFA president, and it’s probably even more stounding that he is being reelected unopposed after being allowed to say stuff like this.

“He’s also taken the fact that Qatar recruits from the poorest countries in the world, millions who have nothing, and bring them to do what human rights groups call modern slavery. He’s saying that’s OK because they get paid more than they do at home.

“This is just misleading, disrespectful, offensive. It’s just damaging to the cause to try to get better rights, better conditions for these workers, to try to improve the human rights situation here.

“He also speaks about hypocrisy. I do not think Infantino is the man to speak about hypocrisy, I do not think ‘what-about-ism’ is the correct route for a FIFA president to try to enforce change.

“If we all get stuck on what’s happened before, or what’s happening elsewhere, and we have to stay silent because of that, then we will never bring about any effective change.

“We would all just never say anything ever, because no country is untouched and untainted.

“On the eve of the tournament this is what we are getting. He says it will be the best World Cup in history – I think this will be the World Cup that really underpins just how dirty the game is.”

Amnesty International put out a statement in response to the Infantino speech.

“In brushing aside legitimate human rights concerns, Gianni Infantino is dismissing the enormous price paid by migrant workers to make this flagship tournament possible, as well as FIFA’s responsibility for it,” the statement read.

“Demands for equality, dignity, and compensation, can not be treated as some sort of culture war, they are universal human rights that FIFA has committed to respect in its own statutes.”

Infantino has not yet clarified or backtracked his speech at all.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here

#Offensive #speech #lifts #mask #dirty #World #Cup

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *