Qatar 2022, the world of controversies, adds one more line to the tiger. After the “discomfort” caused to sponsor Budweiser by restrictions on beer intake, the FIFA He now opted to severely punish any hint of controversy over the grass. Hence, England, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland gave up “very frustrated” to use the One Love tapes as a protest against discrimination against the LGTBI community in the host country.
“FIFA has been very clear, it will impose sports sanctions if our captains wear the bracelets on the field. As national federations, we cannot ask our players to risk [recibir] yellow cards”, denounced the federations involved.
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Thus, in a matter of hours, FIFA changed the landscape, perhaps the best demonstration of the great power held by the highest body in professional football. On Saturday 19, one day before the start of the World Cup, the German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer confirmed that he would wear the gay flag color bracelet. “We are not afraid of the consequences“said the captain of the mannschaft. In fact, his federation backed him and was willing to bear the costs. Your president, Bernd NeuendorfHe maintained that it was not a political statement “but one in favor of human rights”. “I’m prepared to pay a fine”, he added.
But when the sporting threat was added to the merely economic one, the panorama became complicated for the delegations of the Old Continent.
The protest of these federations would have been significant. The Deutsche Welle remember that, in Qatararticle 296 of the Penal Code -what is about theincitement to immorality and prostitution”- is punishable by at least one year in jail for “homosexuality between men and sexual debauchery”. If we add to this the declarations of the event ambassador, Khalid Salman -who held to be gay was a “mental damage”-, it is understood that the NGO Human Rights Watch denounce that members of said community are often mistreated when detained.
In any case, the phrase with which the FIFA President Gianni Infantinotried to calm the waters a day before the start of the World Cup: “Today I feel Qatari, Arab, African, gay, disabled and a migrant worker”.
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A milestone for the world?
“Qatar wanted to organize this World Cup to change its image, show itself as a modern country, and it had every opportunity to do so. -points Miguel Sánchez Ferrán, political analyst and Panamanian specialist in international business-. However, he didn’t make it. I imagine that, after the event, his trade could be affected, precisely, by what is thought of that nation”.
Meanwhile, adds the expert, the FIFA reconfirms that it is a questionable organization. “The One Love bracelets They should not be so relevant because they are used without problems in European competitions. But these events come to show that the entity handles a double standard”.
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Should we be surprised at FIFA’s position? Sánchez Ferrán proposes no and to support his point, he recalls the scandal of corruption that ended with sanctions against its directors, among them Sepp Blatter, former FIFA president and who promoted the designation of Qatar as headquarters of the world Cup. He and the former player and former head of the Uefa michel platini they were accused ofconflict of interest, false accounting” and irregularly pocketing US$2 million.
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For Alexandra Morales, political scientist specializing in political communication, what happens now with the bracelets should not surprise us. The last World Cup was in Russia, a nation that is not precisely characterized by respecting human rights, and it would be enough to go back a little further to notice the inconsistencies. “Argentinian 78 it occurred in the context of disappearances, for example. It happens that the soccer world cups are not events that stand out for betting on democratic values, respect for certain communities”.
“And now to the matter of OneLovethe real loser is the FIFA because it shows which values it respects and which it does not. But I think we shouldn’t think about how powerful it really is, but rather focus on what interests it represents. It is also clear that Qatar He has significant power that even Infantino prefers not to risk and chooses to cover his back with what makes him uncomfortable”, he adds Morales.
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Sanchez Ferran write down: “This World Cup will mark a before and after, and will encourage the players and their federations to stop accepting what they say without joking. How? If they agree from the beginning, they could boycott the event, as has happened before with the Olympic Games”.
And adds: “After Qatar 2022, the nonconformity of many federations and fans should put FIFA and the next host in check. They should be required to follow current political trends in relation to human rights, women’s rights and the LGTBI community.”.