Last updated on December 12, 2022
The question doesn’t seem to be if we must boycott the upcoming FIFA World Cup, the question is actually how to boycott the most awaited soccer tournament.
The event is kicking off on Sunday the 20th of November with the hosts’ opening game against Ecuador and all the 32 competing nations have named their final squad (and… no Italy is not one of them…) but just a few days before the beginning of this global event, the mood of the soccer enthusiasts is the exact opposite of what it usually is.
This past month the supporters of the Bundesliga (the top German football league) are proving themselves to be particularly sensitive to the violation of human rights in Qatar and they expressed their dissent by unfurling gigantic banners at matches throughout the country.
The disgruntlement regarding the choice of FIFA to organize the event in Qatar has been expressed through a website which includes the manifesto of the “Boycott Qatar” campaign.
The group behind the campaign highlights how Qatar should not be partnering with FIFA due the lack of respect of human rights, the inhuman working conditions of those who built the infrastructures needed for the World Cup and how FIFA privileged money over actual soccer culture (Qatar has none…).
But the organizers of “Boycott Qatar” do not stop there. The manifesto includes a list of actions to be taken to resist from sending to FIFA mass mailings to promote the protest to not buying any products of those companies sponsoring the event.
Germany is not alone in the protest. A similar campaign is now running in Spain. “No al mundial de la verguenza” (Say no to the World Cup of shame) is the motto of the campaign which is also listing on a dedicated website the names and pictures of the victims who allegedly died during the construction of the infrastructures for the event.
France is also joining the protest by asking the French players not to play to demonstrate their support for the cause of human rights.
While in Italy banners against the World Cup have appeared at matches of teams like Bologna and Roma. During the match with Torino FC, the Roma supporters have unfolded a banner saying “thousands of workers died, environmental disaster, Qatar 22 world shame”
The protests of the football fans are then joined by those of the LGBTQIA+ community. In Qatar, homosexuality between men is prohibited by law, as is sexual relations outside marriage. Several LGBTQIA+ associations have called for a boycott of the World Cup. Just recently the activists of the All Out association have demonstrated right in front of the FIFA museum in Zurich.
The #boycottqatar and #boycottqatar2022 have reached a total of almost 10,000 users and the protest seems to grow stronger every day. We just have to wait for the start of this World Cup to see if these actions aimed at supporting human rights will lead to improvements in FIFA’s decision-making process.
*Cover picture credit History of Soccer
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