Reacting to FIFA president Infantino’s remarkable speech defending the Qatar World Cup | ESPN FC

By | November 19, 2022

ESPN FC’s James Olley gives his verdict on a remarkable speech from Gianni Infantino, in which the FIFA president called out the “hypocrisy” of nations criticising Qatar.

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The stage behind me in the main media Center in Doha was the scene on Saturday Morning for a quite extraordinary press Conference from FIFA president Gianni Infantino in what was supposed to be his Brief opening remarks he ended up Delivering an hour-long monologue in Which he took aim at FIFA's critics at Qatar's critics and his own critics Essentially anybody who's had any sort Of issue with the tournament being Staged here right back from when the Vote was held in 2010 he accused Europe And the west of hypocrisy over criticism Of qatar's treatment of Migrant workers He insisted that lgbtq plus people are Welcome here and he essentially Trivialized the late decision to ban Alcohol inside stadiums by suggesting That sarcastically that if people you Know need to go three hours without Alcohol they will survive he said that If that was the biggest problem at this Guitar World Cup had he would sign up Immediately and go and sit on the beach Relax until the final on the 18th of December this was clearly a man who's Felt the criticism in recent weeks and Months about all the circumstances Around Qatar and the human rights record In particular and he really wanted to go Out here on the front foot on the eve of A tournament and and ended it really by Saying don't criticize the players

Criticize Qatar don't criticize anyone Criticize me I'm the one who's supposed To take all this on the chin it's Clearly something that has gotten to him Up until now and he's desperate for the Focus to be on the football of course When the games start people will get Into those matches and we'll have Football to write about and that will be Something else that we clearly can can Enjoy but these issues these off-field Issues are going to be a persistent Theme of this tournament whether Infantino likes it or not Well thank you very much for watching ESPN on YouTube for more sports Highlights and Analysis be sure to Download the ESPN app and for live Streaming premium content and let's not Forget as well ESPN FC seven days a week Subscribe to ESPN Plus