between divisions and diversions / Mondial 2022 / Boycott /

By announcing his intention not to cover the World Cup in Qatar, The Daily Reunion relaunched the debate on how to take a concrete position on this subject. And since the term boycott is widely used to qualify very different attitudes, thus giving rise to all amalgams, we can also clarify a little the meaning and scope of the term in the particular context of football.


Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani is finally out of the woods. He wasn’t really worried about his World Cup, because he knew that everyone would line up on the lawn and in the official stands. But one of the challenges for the Emirate arises above all in terms of image, especially in the West, especially to attract now, like Dubai, the tourist or the influencer. But the turmoil that has won public opinion, at least in the Old Continent, or that has questioned the position of the media is recent. The Daily Reunion, threatens such a beautiful communication plan. In the columns of Pointa title that nevertheless never misses the opportunity to make his front page the danger of Islam and Islamism, he was able to explain that “Even today, some still do not accept that an Arab Muslim country is hosting a World Cup” . A strong argument to discredit people who will be very critical and which we will often hear in the next two months.

Something in the states

However, the boycott is not really a credible prospect and sometimes almost seems like a diversion to avoid dealing with the fundamental problems of TV sets. First of all because it is about the major international sporting events that are one of the spaces for the expression of diplomacy, an activity of the State and the States. The two most famous and enlightening examples in history remain that of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and then the Soviet boomerang in 1984 in Los Angeles (not to be forgotten in 1976 in some African countries in Montreal in 1976). However, for now, there is no one to miss the call among the qualified countries. So in France, talk of a boycott comes up against the glass ceiling of “higher interest” in our trade balance. Noël Le Graët, president of the FFF, did not even hide it, for example to the AFP by explaining that “The relations between our government and the government of Qatar are very warm” . Such that even Norway, in the end not qualified, whose selection wore a T-shirt in favor of human rights during their match in Gibraltar and whose president of the federation boldly spoke at the FIFA congress in Doha, rejected the possibility of a boycott during an extraordinary congress, 368 delegates against, 121 for.

Lise Klaveness at the FIFA Congress.

So much for what concerns ethics and responsibility in our institutions. On the Blues side, the story is even clearer. Didier Deschamps chose to lose: “It’s not the players, or me, or you, who decide that the competition is there to be played. There are decision makers who decide. We’re told he’s there, he’s there. After all, I can be honest, pragmatic, but that’s the truth. I don’t want to hide the truth of the problems related to the situation of this World Cup. As a citizen, I want to send a message of peace. » Then listen to politicians like Fabien Roussel for the PCF, certainly eager to fix things with the “benefits that remain” read. The Diplo World, explain that asking players not to go is tantamount to moral deprivation. Our elected officials and representatives, including those doing business under François Hollande, have plenty of time and opportunity to act or challenge successive governments from the hemicycle. This is their function and their role in our democracy. At least NGOs, unions or associations have not failed to express themselves before.

The emphasis is on an individual and civic approach

Finally, there remains a legitimate form of boycott, by society, by citizens. It can be embodied in the voice or speech of personalities, from Vincent Lindon to Éric Cantona, without forgetting Virginie Despentes. This is shown by opinion polls, to be taken with a grain of salt, including the latest one from Amnesty International conducted by YouGov, which indicates that 48% of French people will not follow the next Football World Cup on television. In fact, the only action that can be effective against the organizers from now on is to turn off the screens during the meetings, because such a step will lead to a decrease in the value of the TV rights that are sold expensively and represent the a not insignificant part of FIFA’s budget. And the latter counts dollars, not the death of construction sites…

By Nicolas Ksis-Martov

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