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DOMINIC KING: FIFA President Gianni Infantino has cut his way through the most contentious issues

Gianni Infantino took his seat in the cavernous multimedia theater and slowly shook his head. His expression was grim, his voice was low.

“Hopefully we’ll talk a bit about football,” the FIFA president began.

You knew instantly that this was going to be no ordinary press conference. Infantino would have loved to ‘stick to football’ and let’s not forget he sent a letter to all the competing nations in the World Cup imploring them to do just that, to avoid talking about the myriad off-field issues surrounding Qatar.

Dominic King Fifa President Gianni Infantino Has Cut His Way

FIFA President Gianni Infantino (pictured) lashed out at critics of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

But Infantino, from his next statement, made sure that football was the last thing on anyone’s mind. From there, he blasted his way through the most contentious topics and left his audience stunned, often gasping in disbelief.

“Today I have strong feelings,” Infantino said. ‘Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel like a migrant worker. And I feel this, all this, because what I have seen and it brings me back to my personal history. I am the son of a migrant worker.

‘My parents worked very, very hard and in very, very difficult conditions, not in Qatar, in Switzerland. I remember when I was a child how migrant workers were treated when they were looking for work and I remember what happened to their passports.’

And he was far away. For the next 57 minutes, in a non-stop monologue, Infantino charged. Curiously, he was watched the entire time by two men, sitting in the front row of the mid-tier of an auditorium that would have dwarfed many West End theaters.

They were dressed in traditional Qatari attire; it is not clear who they were, but they had the air of importance. The importance of their being there was added to the fact that they had already left when Infantino answered the questions.

“Infantino’s comments were both rude and clumsy and suggest that the FIFA president gets his talking points directly from the Qatari authorities,” said Nicholas McGeechan, director of Fair Square, a human rights research group.

They were absolutely rude and clumsy so back to that.

There was an attack on the West by Infantino, who lives in Doha, accusing them of racism and insisting that those in Europe who have criticized Qatar for employing migrant workers had shaky foundations.

“What is sad, in these last weeks, we are seeing in some places a real lesson in morality, double standards,” Infantino thundered. “I think what Europe has been doing for the last 3,000 years, we should apologize for the next 3,000 years for what we’ve done.”

Migrant Workers During The Construction Of The Lusail Stadium In 2019. Up To 6,500 Have Reportedly Died In The Construction Of The World Cup Infrastructure, Though The Qatari Regime Continues To Insist That Is Untrue Despite The Evidence.

Migrant Workers During The Construction Of The Lusail Stadium In 2019. Up To 6,500 Have Reportedly Died In The Construction Of The World Cup Infrastructure, Though The Qatari Regime Continues To Insist That Is Untrue Despite The Evidence.

Infantino said that if Europe “really cared” about migrant workers, it would do what Qatar did by creating “legal channels” for them to enter.

‘I don’t have to defend Qatar. I am defending football and injustice.

‘Who cares about these issues? FIFA does it. Soccer yes. The World Cup yes. And, to be fair, Qatar does. This will be the best World Cup in history. When the ball starts rolling, that’s what people want.’

Heeding those words, remember that 15,000 migrant workers (£220 monthly wage) lost their lives between 2011 and 2021 while the eight dazzling stadiums were built for the extravaganza that kicks off on Sunday with the hosts taking on Ecuador.

“Hundreds of thousands of workers from developing countries are leaving their own country and helping their families to survive,” continued Infantino, who earns an annual salary of £3 million. They do it legally. We in Europe close our borders.

Infantino Also Spoke On Issues Related To Lgbtq+, Migrant Workers, And Critics.

Infantino Also Spoke On Issues Related To Lgbtq+, Migrant Workers, And Critics.

Infantino also spoke on issues related to LGBTQ+, migrant workers, and critics.

‘We hardly allow any workers from these countries who are trying to come to work legally in our countries. We all know that there are many illegal workers in our European countries, who live in conditions that are not really the best.

‘Those who arrive in Europe, or those who want to come, have to go through very difficult paths. Only a few survive. So if you really care about the fate of these people, these young people, Europe can do what Qatar did.

‘Create some channels, some legal channels, to increase the percentage of these workers who come to Europe. Give them some work. Give them a future.

From migrant workers, he moved on to LGBTQ+ related issues; Infantino had previously told a story of how, as the son of Italian immigrants, he had been bullied as a child and ostracized because of his ‘redhead and freckles’.

Inclusion, he stressed, was something important for him and also for FIFA. But no one has ever said that FIFA was homophobic: the problem here was the concerns that LGBTQ+ people harbored about their safety in a country where homosexuality is illegal. Again Infantino entered.

“All are welcome,” he said. ‘If you say otherwise, it is not the opinion of the country. Everyone who comes to Qatar is welcome, regardless of religion, race, or sexuality. This was our requirement and the State of Qatar adheres to that requirement.

‘You will tell me ‘yes, but there are laws where you can go to jail’; Yes, these laws exist in many countries around the world. These laws existed in Switzerland when they organized the World Cup in 1954. These are processes.

‘What do you want to do? Staying at home and bashing and saying how bad these Arabs are, these Muslims because you’re not allowed to be gay publicly? Of course I think it should be allowed. If you think that you are going to achieve something by hammering and criticizing, I tell you that it will be the opposite.

‘If you provoke me, I react. And that’s not good. Try to champion the right causes by participating. That is all I ask.

However, Infantino was not asking. he was preaching. Some of the points he made were credible, but the vast majority of them left you in disbelief, from his claim that FIFA’s relationship with Budweiser hasn’t soured to his idea that a World Cup could one day be hosted in Iran.

‘Let the people enjoy the World Cup!’ Infantino proclaimed. ‘We don’t spit on others because they look different or feel different. help us. Don’t divide. We have a city that wants to welcome the world. Let’s celebrate, please.

And, with that, he refocused everyone on focusing on football. The irony, of course, was that he had made it impossible.

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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