Boycott the World Cup in Qatar? Among the French personalities, the actor Vincent Lindon was the first to shoot. “I will not watch the World Cup”, he announced on August 29, on the program “C à vous” on France 5. “We are in a giant asylum: in the same year, there will be the Winter Olympics in a country where there is no snow and a World Cup in a country where it is 60°C in the shade and where they have built a dozen refrigerated stadiums… In other words, not only a climatic and ecological aberration, but there is also lack of respect for human rights,” he argued.
On Tuesday, Éric Cantona posted a statement on his social networks explaining that he will not be watching a World Cup match. The former France and Manchester United striker urged football players not to participate in an activity he called an “aberration”.
2 The world of soccer
In early August, former Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm announced that he would not travel to Qatar for the World Cup, citing the host country’s lack of respect for human rights. However, it was not a complete boycott on his part. “I chose to follow the tournament from home,” he explained. President of the organizing committee of Euro 2024 in Germany, he also specified that he could have made the trip if it was necessary within the framework of his functions.
In February 2021, the Norwegian club Tromso officially requested to boycott the 2022 World Cup from its federation. The latter rejected this idea (368 delegates voted against the boycott, 121 in favor). It must be said that FIFA threatened to exclude Norway from qualifying for the 2026 World Cup if it decided to boycott Qatar (Norway ultimately did not qualify for the competition).
We also remember that in April, the Red Kop of En Avant Guingamp briefly unfurled a flag against the World Cup in Qatar, under the eyes of the President of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, who was that day at Roudourou by invitation by Noël Le Graët.
Amnesty International launched a petition “Qatar 2022, return the Cup to its senses”, which was signed by more than 50,000 people. However, the NGO did not call for a boycott, but to take advantage of the opportunity to put pressure on Qatar. Other organizations, such as Youth for Climate France, have called for the cancellation of the event. Activists in Strasbourg, grouped in a collective called Maquis Alsace-Lorraine, have started a crazy project: to personally encourage the players to boycott the event, by contacting them through on their Twitter accounts. They believe that “if a few influential players stand up, a big movement can be seen quickly”.
A small French collective does not want to remain indifferent to the thousands of deaths that have been recorded since giving the competition to Qatar. They intend to cancel the next World Cup and here is their plan. https://t.co/MYtm691gQm
— SO FOOT (@sofoot) November 19, 2021
4 The media
“Quotidien de la Réunion” said on Tuesday that it did not intend to cover the event “even if France is champion”. So far the only media that announced that decision. “Our newspaper will boycott everything related to this sporting event, but will relay information related to the ecological and human issues raised by the competition,” said its director, Vincent Vibert.
? “Can we celebrate victories knowing that thousands of people died in these stadiums?”
?? “Le Quotidien de la Réunion” boycotts the World Cup in Qatar pic.twitter.com/JkibhOBLxH
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) September 15, 2022
Jean Lassalle, former presidential candidate, launched on Wednesday “an official call to charge, for example, Germany or England to organize the next World Cup with dignity”. But it is on the side of rebellious France that we find the most violent positions taken. From 2021, Jean-Luc Mélenchon estimated that the players of the French team “will have nothing to give” to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, because “we cannot play football with corpses”. A message that was rejected at the beginning of September by the rebellious deputy Alexis Corbière, who considered that “the conditions are not met for our French team to go to this event”, which is, according to him, a “sporting , ecological and social scandal “.
Promoting a circus like the one planned in Qatar is daring
A boycott movement also began to form in the bars. La Maison du Peuple, one of the biggest cafés in Brussels, does not show any matches. “We are sitting on a big recipe, but we can’t look in the mirror. Promoting a circus like the one planned in Qatar is daring. We don’t want to leave that world to our children,” said the his boss is our colleagues from “La Libre Belgique”.
In Germany, many pubs in Bonn, the former capital of the country, made the same decision. Brittany is not an exception to the event, a bar in Redon that informed our colleagues from Ouest France of its refusal to broadcast the matches of the 2022 World Cup.