athletes, politicians, supporters… they say why they boycotted the world championship in Qatar

– Will you boycott? For some, the issue is almost a matter of conscience. Whether or not to watch the World Cup in Qatar, in the context of which many have noted human, social and environmental aberrations of the event? A few days before the start of the World Cup This debate, organized in the emirate on November 20, torments football fans, temporary supporters and others.

The first person to actually light the boycott’s fuse is called Eric Cantona. In January, the ex-footballer-turned-actor revealed all the bad things he thinks about the competition. “This is not a real World Cup” and he won’t watch it on TV. “Qatar is not a football country. advanced in the field Daily Mail*. It’s only about money, and their attitude to the people who built the stadiums is terrible, thousands of people died.”

Actor Vincent Lindon, author Virginie Despentes, German soccer world champion Philipp Lahm… Other media and sports figures since then This incident crystallises the discussions that took part in the boycott camp. LTheir reasons are many: the lack of respect for workers’ rights, with the death of several thousand workers in the country since 2010, According to a British daily survey Guardian*, ecological aberration, rights of women and LGBT+ people or even suspicions of corruption when the competition was awarded in 2010.

“This scandalous World Cup is almost a caricature of football going too far. takes writer Olivier Guez, who is a big fan of the round ball. Football has become a huge entertainment industry. They offered me to go, I said no. However, the World Cup is a rare, unique moment. “A time when we return to childhood”.

He will not go to Qatar. Seven, including 33-year-old Soufyane Guesmia, will be watching and boycotting the Blues around the world “100% World Cup”. But football is his life, his passion, so much so that he traveled 70 hours by bus with a group of Irrésistible Français supporters to reach the French team’s base camp in Istra, Russia, during the 2018 World Cup. “I will not go and watch the game, 6 thousand 500 workers died, Qatar is speaking [pour une majorité de cas] “natural deaths”. What cynicism!” Red Star supporter this trouble.

“I have values ​​and I have to adjust to myself. If I decided to go to Qatar on these infrastructures built on blood, I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror.”

Soufyane Guesmia, member of Irresistibles Français

On the Franceinfo website

The speech of this supporter of the Blues also joins the speech of Vincent Lindo, who will boycott the World Cup in Qatar. We are in a huge shelter: the same year the Winter Games are held in a country without snow. [en Chine] and [une Coupe du monde] in a country with 60°C in the shade. This is an ecological aberration.”took the actor to the set of the movie “C à vous” at the end of August.

In addition, violated human rights – The magazine “Complément d’Enquête” revealed the indecent living conditions of the “little hands” of the Hotel des Bleus in Qatar in particular – the environmental disaster is stressing fans. In particular, the carbon footprint of the competition, the stadiums and subways built for the event, or the 160 planes a day to transport supporters from neighboring countries to their accommodation. Obs.

“We have no right to turn a blind eye to a truth that everyone knows” PS mayor of Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain) Jean-François Debat believes. “Support for the Greens” Saint-Etienne and the great reader Team. “In my town, we could close the pools and deprive the kids of their hobbies this winter because of energy costs. At the same time, we are going to air-conditioned stadiums,” regrets the chosen one, will not organize anything special in his city and will not watch a single minute of the competition on television.

“On the one hand, millions of people are being exploited to build air-conditioned stadiums, and on the other hand, there is a competition that will bring great income for federations, sponsors, broadcasters, Qatar.” Regrets Maëlle, activist of the ecological civil disobedience movement Extinction Rebellion and member of the Red Card collective, qcalls for a boycott.

In front of “human and environmental catastrophe and revolting ecological aberration”he thinks with his action “Activities to raise awareness during the World Cup”. “If after this World Cup, the football world will take social and environmental issues into account more, it will be a victory. The idea is to create something.” he judges.

Mobilization is also the credo of Flavien Rosso and Dorine Brouwer. The first is responsible for the sports department Reunion newspaperThe second manager of a bar in Redon, Ille-et-Vilaine and two will boycott the competition.

“It’s not a satisfactory solution, but it’s the best way to sound the alarm.” explain Flavien Rossohis newspaper cannot afford to send a reporter to Qatar anyway. “We won’t talk about the sports aspect because we believe it’s hard to get excited about this event, but we will narrate the side effects, any event.” This option includes restrictions – “Want to McDonald’s is reporting the incident, we will not accept it ads” – and internal tension, but Flavien Rosso assures us: daily “Even if France goes to the final and wins, it will boycott until the end.”

Dorine Brouwer took over Le Nautic bar, a small troquet bordering Vilaine in Redon, in June. This dutch girl “always orange on game days”, will not broadcast matches or watch home country matches. Although he may lose money, he hopes for the bar “will become a den of boycotters”. “If I broadcast the matches, then I agree with this World Cup. he explains.

Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille… In early October, many cities also announced their desire not to televise the contest on a giant screen for moral as well as economic reasons amid the energy crisis. The mayor of the northern capital, Martine Aubry, has thus qualified for the World Cup “nonsense about human rights, the environment and sports”. “If I were the head of state – I am not so easy anymore – I would not go to Qatar“, said Francois Hollande, who did not specify whether he would watch the competition.

“It’s a personal choice, but not only”these actions for him judge Philippe Poutou, the former presidential candidate of the NPA “Putting pressure on the cynicism of the political world and the neutrality of sport that ignores all human dramas.” Sport is a means of propaganda and instrumentalization in the service of the powers, and at the same time it can be a means of protest.

As for members of the Blues’ main supporters’ association, they will “six times less” More in Qatar than in Russia four years ago. Fabien Bonnel, founding member of Les Irrésistibles Français, explains: “The whole system revolves around the supporters: without them, there is no audience, therefore no TV rights. If we want FIFA to act, we have to show it that we are not ordinary people.”

* Links with an asterisk are in English.

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