A man alone symbolizes the mistakes of Fifa about Qatar. It is the boss of the organization, Gianni Infantino. Italo-Switzerland did not officially participate in the awarding of the World Cup to the emirate. Since his election, however, he has maintained very close ties with Doha. A benevolence which is not illegal, but which contributes to the general malaise.
With our correspondent in Geneva, Jeremiah Lance
Upon his arrival at the head of the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa), Gianni Infantino showed little interest in investigating the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar.
There’s no proof, he says, so we have to move on. Moving forward means settling in Doha, as far as he is concerned. The boss of Fifa has been living there for more than a year.
Officially, it is to accompany the ” best World Cup in history “, as he likes to hammer it in the media. But this unprecedented proximity for a president of Fifa with a host country goes badly.
Especially when he picks up on the Qatari government’s highly contentious figures on foreign workers who died building the stadiums:
Three people died on the construction sites. It’s three too many, but it’s not 6,000 people. Fifa is not responsible for everything that happens in the world. But thanks to Fifa, we were able to make progress on the status of the 1.5 million migrant workers in Qatar. And don’t forget one thing: when you give someone work, even if it’s hard work, you also give them dignity.
This outing, which dates from a few months ago, was little appreciated by human rights NGOs, who maintain that the victims number in the thousands.
The declarations of Gianni Infantino will in any case have accredited a little more the image of an International Football Federation disconnected from the realities of the world in which it evolves. And perhaps more concerned with the state of her finances than with the future of the sport she intends to promote.
►Report: Is football part of the culture of Qatar?