“Readers’ Voice” – Boycotting the World Cup: the challenge of sustaining it

VSIt is difficult to boycott this football world championship! It is not the media that does not promote it. A few weeks ago newspapers published articles about human rights violations, thousands of deaths or millions of tons of CO22 The data is now the same that fully covers the World Cup. Last article The world Commenting on the failure of the boycott, he provided a link from the first paragraph to watch the France-England match. It seems like we are all going through a public instruction to watch this World Cup right now.

Also read: 2022 World Cup in Qatar: “Obviously, there is no boycott effect”

By opening the Google search engine, the scores of the matches appear without asking anything. Shops are full of flags, makeup, uniforms or Panini albums… On the street, in shops, all the displays are Mondial. There’s no escaping Morocco-Portugal on the big screen by buying pasta from an Italian caterer.

How not to feel like an alien? Don’t you doubt his conviction? Don’t you think they are absurd and irrelevant in the midst of this crowd who agree that the Blues’ victory is above all else? How can you resist the arguments repeated and beaten by all your relatives, colleagues, families? Arguments that do not withstand thought.

A call for a boycott of the FIFA World Cup during the German championship game in October 2022.

Everyone agrees that this Qatar 2022 is a humanitarian scandal, an environmental disaster, an extreme human delirium. But the boycott will not serve any purpose. We should have reacted earlier, and it would have been of great benefit, not our individual action. However, the meat on the counters really comes from beef that has already been killed, from intensive farming that has already been polluted… Will consuming this beef change anything?

Of course, everyone understands that demand determines supply. Manufacturers produce only what is purchased. It is our lifestyle and consumption that will influence their choices. Given the success of this World Cup, how can one imagine the International Football Federation considering humanitarian or environmental details in the future? Money will remain the key word.

Because yes, we vote by remote control. Sports, of course, are political, contrary to what our president would have us believe. It is not surprising that European decision-makers are now suspected of corruption by Qatar, because money pollutes everything. The argument sometimes slips into relativism: there would be so many other scandals, other environmental disasters, other humanitarian disasters… Then the World Cup would be another precedent-based scandal. A reflection that can only lead to inactivity.

Also read: The article is reserved for our subscribers The shock wave of “Qatargate” destabilizes European institutions

It is also possible for the discussion to turn into a personal attack. To minimize our liability: “Anyway, you don’t like football very much! ยป, “Even if you fly this year, you are boycotting Qatar”. Do you have to be an environmentally responsible footballer at the highest level to have the right to be outraged at this absurd World Cup? We all have our contradictions to accept. Each of us has our own limitations regarding what may or may not seem acceptable. The construction of outdoor air-conditioned stadiums in the desert, the death of 6,500 migrant workers who were treated like slaves, and the corruption of the European Parliament with suitcases of banknotes have been mined.

Also read: Qatar 2022: Why the World Cup construction site death toll is so hard to estimate

But to be honest, I understand that we are watching this world championship. There is no equivalent to the sensations brought by these matches that we experienced together. Sport is a medicine, but it is the medicine that unites us and maybe we need it in these difficult times. But it seems strange to me that the boycotters have to justify themselves. Whether it’s this boycott that’s considered absurd, if there’s anything so absurd right now, it’s this World Cup in Qatar, the culmination of what’s worse in globalization and capitalism. It is likely that Qatar’s overly aggressive lobbying and the corruption of European elected officials contributed to the discrediting of this boycott.

There is one question that I could never find an answer to during these discussions. If what is happening in Qatar will not justify its boycott, what will? For example, if tomorrow the World Cup in Brazil is organized on land in the Amazon forest, which has been destroyed due to the expulsion of indigenous peoples. Will we have the same arguments for watching a new inhuman World Cup? Will we still say that the previous World Cup should be boycotted to be consistent?

It’s hard to have these discussions without sounding like a moral father, a killer, an idealist, even an extremist (when it comes to not watching a few games, ha!). But if the boycott is controversial (and there are other possible measures to protect our planet), we cannot do without real thought.

Pierre Housset, Paris

The world

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