Qatar: commitment for the Blues?

Qatar: commitment for the Blues?

#Qatar #commitment #Blues

As the World Cup in Qatar approaches, the debate and controversies tighten around the players. States and federations having taken refuge in diplomatic silence, NGOs and unions now turn directly to those who will step on the poisoned grass to carry their speech. And the French team, current champions, is at the forefront when it comes to their status as world champions and the stars that populate their squad. To make us even more proud of them?

Amnesty International has campaigned vigorously and courageously for several years to ensure that human rights, especially those of migrant workers, are respected. She never demanded a boycott, only that FIFA hold the emirate to a certain number of commitments. Today he demands, in support of a 62-page report on human rights violations, a solidarity and compensation fund for the families of the workers who died on the spot (estimates point to several thousand coffins). It would be a minimal gesture in view of the huge ticket vending machine that the event has become. “Qatar, FIFA, the Organizing Committee and other actors, including companies, have a responsibility, independently of each other, to contribute financially to a reparations program” says the organization. We know with what contempt Gianni Infantino has already responded to this request.

From now on, the NGO challenges future capés in a letter, while Didier Deschamps issued his list. “You will enter the legend if, as reigning world champions, you help us defend and support migrants who work in undignified conditions.(…) Are you stronger than the Danes on the field? Be equal in your claims urges the NGO. It would be a gesture of justice for those who pay a high price for this competition to exist. » The movement is quite rare. In general, this type of organization is more aimed at States and decision-making structures such as FIFA. This time it seeks to raise awareness, accompanied by a speech by the soccer players, in the face of the interested silence of the governments, including that of Emmanuel Macron, and the passive complicity of the soccer authorities. It can never be emphasized enough in passing that the first responsibility lies with the authorities, since the FFF benefits from a delegation of public service…

Media debate, political cowardice?

Asked about the issue at a press conference, Didier Deschamps tried to gain time: “It is a sensitive issue, very sensitive. It is not my role or that of the players to put pressure on the FFF. What I can say is that the necessary arrangements have been made to keep an eye on what is happening in Qatar. Now, I do not want to enter into a media debate, which does not prevent each person from having and always having their freedom of expression. I’m not here to gag mouths. If I answer your question, I enter fully into what I reject: the media debate. Afterwards, I think I’ve proven over and over again that I make sure I understand everything and be tolerant. » Precisely, it is anything but a media debate, just an ethical and political issue.

We understand your discomfort. Last March, already, she dodged as best she could: “We are in a sports field. Neither the players, nor me, nor you, decided that the competition would be played there. There are decision makers who have decided. We are told that she is there, she is there. Later, I can be factual, pragmatic, but that is the reality. I don’t want to hide the reality of the problems related to the condition of this World Cup. As a citizen, I want to send a message of peace. » This speech worthy of a candidate for the crown of Miss France returned the hot potato to those who had awarded the World Cup to Qatar and its boss, Noël Le Graët. The latter, during the Doha congress, after the president of the Norwegian federation threw a stone into the pond, responded with good humor: “I think Qatar responded well. There were concerns. We’ve all had them. But frankly, since three years ago, I no longer have any. Look what happens. Arriving in a country like this is rather a good thing for them and for everyone, it will accelerate mentalities. »

Some idea of ​​football?

So is Amnesty right now, as a last resort, going to talk directly to the Blues? Is it your responsibility to position yourself? What remains of this terrible adage already launched during the 1978 World Cup in the shadow of the Argentine dictatorship: “As soon as the ball rolls, we forget everything”? However, Amnesty International knows that the context has changed. Football occupies a social and even political place on an unprecedented scale. Evolving for the French soccer team, representing the country of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” and human rights cannot be without consequences in such a situation, especially when, on the contrary, their duty to set an example at all times. Finally, they are only asked to speak, since they can -according to DD- without risk. This is not clarified by the FFF or FIFA, much less by our government. In recent times, some have come out of their traditional reserve, for example when it comes to police violence. Antoine Griezmann refused a sponsor out of solidarity with the Uyghurs. We saw some knees down during the European Championship. And, of course, Kylian Mbappé refused a photo shoot with some brands, in particular to mark his rejection of junk food. Will he be able to go to Qatar without a word for those who died so that the ball rolls at his feet? De Gaulle had a certain idea of ​​France. Will the Parisian striker still have some idea of ​​​​football?

By Nicholas Kssis-Martov

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