Infantino, the boss of world soccer’s governing physique, regarded on glumly as he addressed tons of of journalists in Doha, Qatar, Saturday.
“We are taught many lessons from Europeans, from the Western world,” he mentioned, referring to criticisms of Qatar’s human rights report.
“What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3000 years before starting to give moral lessons.”
Despite the opening match kicking off on November 20, Infantino barely spoke about soccer and centered his consideration on what he referred to as the “hypocrisy” of Western criticism.
In a exceptional press convention, Infantino appeared exhausted. He has spent quite a bit of time defending FIFA’s determination in 2010 to award the World Cup to Qatar. A controversial determination made when he wasn’t the governing physique’s president.
This event might be a historic occasion, the primary World Cup to be held within the Middle East, however can also be mired in controversy, with a lot of the build-up focusing on human rights, from the loss of life of migrant staff and the situations many have endured in Qatar, to LGBTQ and girls’s rights.
Infantino, regardless of admitting issues weren’t good, mentioned some criticism was “profoundly unjust” and accused the West of double requirements.
The Italian opened the information convention by talking for an hour, telling journalists that he knew what it felt wish to be discriminated against, saying he was bullied as a toddler for having crimson hair and freckles.
“Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker,” he mentioned, in entrance of a shocked viewers.
“I really feel this, all this, as a result of what I’ve been seeing and what I’ve been instructed, since I don’t learn, in any other case I might be depressed I believe.
“What I’ve seen brings me back to my personal story. I am a son of migrant workers. My parents were working very very hard in difficult situations.”
Infantino mentioned progress had been made in Qatar on a spread of points, however insisted actual change took time, including that FIFA wouldn’t go away the nation after the event completed. He instructed that he thought some Western journalists would overlook concerning the points.
“We need to invest in education, to give them a better future, to give them hope. We should all educate ourselves,” he mentioned.
“Reform and change takes time. It took hundreds of years in our countries in Europe. It takes time everywhere, the only way to get results is by engaging […] not by shouting.”
Infantino additionally addressed questions across the last-minute determination to ban alcohol from being bought on the eight stadiums which can host the event’s 64 matches. In a FIFA assertion issued on Friday, the governing physique mentioned alcohol can be bought at fan zones and licensed venues.
The Muslim nation is taken into account to be very conservative and tightly regulates alcohol gross sales and utilization.
In September, Qatar had mentioned it will allow ticketed followers to purchase alcoholic beer at World Cup stadiums three hours earlier than kickoff and for one hour after the ultimate whistle, however not through the match.
“Let me first assure you that every decision that is taken in this World Cup is a joint decision between Qatar and FIFA,” he mentioned. “Every decision is discussed, debated and taken jointly.”
“There might be […] over 200 locations the place you should purchase alcohol in Qatar and over 10 fan zones, the place over 100,000 folks can concurrently drink alcohol.
“I think personally, if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive.”
“Especially because actually the same rules apply in France or in Spain or in Portugal or in Scotland, where no beer is allowed in stadiums now,” he added.
“It seems to become a big thing because it’s a Muslim country, or I don’t know why.”
Infantino completed the press convention by insisting that everybody can be secure in Qatar, amid issues from the LGBTQ community.
Homosexuality in Qatar is prohibited and punishable by as much as three years in jail, however the FIFA president promised that this was a event for everybody.
“Let me mention as well, the LGBT situation. I have been speaking about this topic with the highest leadership of the country several times, not just once. They have confirmed, and I can confirm, that everyone is welcome,” Infantino mentioned.
“This is a clear FIFA requirement. Everyone has to be welcomed, everyone that comes to Qatar is welcome whatever religion, race, sexual orientation, belief she or he has. Everyone is welcome. This was our requirement and the Qatari state sticks to that requirement,” Infantino mentioned.