Saturday, December 10, 2022

FIFA -2022: Infantino blistering attack and peneterating message

There are two mediums that unites and brings people together – games and music. World Cup football being played in Qatar, the hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Quatar as host of this global spectacle has spent more than $220 billion – the highest ever thus far. It is a paradox that there is only one cup, but 32 hopeful teams that went through gruesome journey for years to get qualified and to be part of this mega event. It wasn’t an easy sail for the hosts. Quatar had to face a number of criticisms from different quarters on human rights, LGBTQ, holding on orthodox and values and many others. Western media made a scathing criticism against FIFA over the hosting of world cup a mega-event in a discriminatory regime such as Quatar.
Interestingly, in this World Cup unlike many others, the audience by and large will be brownish and blackish, since the bulk of the workforce is from South Asia. The Western white world should not get perturbed by this. However, to put a stop to the growing criticism from the Western World, on the 19th November, 2022, prior to the opening of the FIFA world cup, FIFA President. Gianni Infantino availed his position being the President of FIFA launched an scathing courter-offensive against the Western media asking them to look at them before pointing to others.
He said: “We have been told many lessons, from Europeans, from the Western World. I’m European. What Europe has done to the world for the last 3000 years they should be apologizing for the next 3000 tears. This is one-sided moral lesson – giving is just hypocrisy.” He added that “Why can’t a fan who looks like an Indian and not English, support a team that is English or Spanish or French? This is racism, this is pure racism”. Continuing, he said: I think he can cheer for whoever he wants to. This is what people want. Tolerance starts with ourselves first and we shouldn’t spread aggression.”
A fine moderation that Infantino was carefully treading on. While clarifying, he had nothing to do by awarding of the tournament to Qatar in 2010. He reiterated that “I was not there. In fact, I was known as a critic of F(FA back then” while he was the former UEFA boss. The western media was flabbergasted to the charger Infantino made. However, the Western media must have thought that he was evading the questions that were asked. Infantino brought to the fore the India and Indians to his own origin as a son of an Italian migrant in Switzerland to address the issues of migrant labor, mishap compensation, LGBT rights to hit at the media.
Then on there was no pause he went ahead with blistering attack. What he said was another penetrating attack: “I have been very quiet for the past few months. Mainly, I have been working behind the scenes, observing what was going on, trying to do my best with the team. But I have very strong feelings. Today, I feel Qatari, I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today, I feel gay. Today, I feel a migrant worker.” He did smug the Western media of its hypocrisy and for its “tall morality”. In the social media hundreds of comments attacking him for all that he made. Nevertheless, he continued by saying: “And I feel all this because I’ve been seeing things, been told things. I don’t read because (then) I’ll be depressed.”
Comments of all sorts keep pouring in and continue to pour such as he was parroting what Qatar wanted him to or someone even may have asked him whether England play Iran with all its oppression and human rights abuses. And yet, FIFA boss uttered that “These are not two regime playing football. These are two teams playing the game. He was so comprehensive, 45-minute scheduled meet went on for over an hour and half which provided a glimmer of for the developing and poor nations. For the two-third world football is the game because with one ball 22 people can play and it’s inexpensive and does not need any pre-requisites.
In his meet with the media, he even highlighted the pollical economy of the poorer nations saying that “People from developing countries come here and earn 10 times more than back hoe to help families survive. It’s legal. In Europe, we close our borders and don’t allow them to work. There are illegal workers in Europe living in conditions that are not the best.” Responding to alcohol ban and use of beer inside the stadium he clarified that “If for three hours a day, you cannot drink a beer you can survive. The same rule applies in France and other countries, but in Qatar it is an issue because it is a Muslim country.”
Moving from alcohol to LGBTQ community Infantino said: “In the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, the same rules had applied then. It has taken time to progress to today. In Qatar, we have to welcome everyone. We’re not the United Nations, or the world police. The only weapon we have is the ball.” A comprehensive and well-articulated interview from the FIFA boss. The Western countries and its media should know that 206 nations along with their federations are engaged in the entire process.
As the balance of power is shifting and so the West should take Asia and Africa more seriously. Consider millions of dollars the European football teams have received as investment from Gulf nations and China in recent years. Not just Qatar-owned PSG, but Barcelona, Manchester City and Inter Milan, and other top European clubs have attracted vanity investments from the Middle East and the Middle Kingdom. And also take the country teams and the European football clubs. They are all represented by those immigrants who have the African and Asian origins. Money is important. Western countries and the Western media knows well. And certainly, a country that has spent billions for the football spectacle want their share in the form of limelight and with some modest comments and writings. FIFA chief Gianni Infantino who runs the world’s biggest game knows the intricacies and inner dynamics very well.
Dr. John Mohan Razu

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