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FIFA tells World Cup nations to concentrate on football

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FIFA have written a letter to all the nations competing in the World Cup in Qatar requesting them to concentrate on football and urging them not to become involved in non-existent political ideological battles.

 

The letter which has been sent by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Fatma Samoura, the organisation’s secretary general, comes as the pressure begins to ratchet up on players to become activists ahead of the tournament.

 

The competition, even before a ball has been kicked has been controversial, with concerns about the numbers of death and the poor living conditions of the migrant work force used to build the stadia and the surrounding infrastructure in Qatar, and also the country’s human rights record.

 

 

Qatar’s laws that discriminate against same sex relations have attracted particular attention in recent weeks, with England’s Beth Mead, among the latest to say that she does not support a World Cup in the Gulf State.

 

The letter, though, has glossed over several aspects, including the request by England and a number of other nations, for their captain to wear “One Love” multicoloured armbands at the World Cup.

 

The Danish team have already said that they intend to wear shirts that criticise the human rights record of the hosts, and have said that they will scale back all PR and marketing activities whilst they are in the country to an absolute minimum.

 

Meanwhile 16 members of the Australian team, the Socceroos appeared in a video condemning human rights abuse in the Gulf State, and called for further worker reforms.

 

Elsewhere Qatar has also been criticised for failing to honour its commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, and that projected emissions from the tournament have been unreported.

 

More broadly, many football fans resent this World Cup for interrupting their domestic seasons, and feel frustrated that many important competitions are being halted at a critical point.

 

There remains deep suspicion about why the tournament was awarded to the Middle East country in the first place, with suspicions that money was placed above sporting integrity or merit.

 

And since the award of the tournament to them was in the gift of FIFA in the first place, their motives in sending such a letter are open to question.

 

It remains to be seen if the 2022 World Cup is remembered for the quality of its football, or for reasons that have little to do with sport at all.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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