Less than two months before the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, more and more football fans tend to disagree with the organization of this event for which FIFA has been careful not to lift a finger despite the numerous scandals. From then on, it was no longer a question of canceling the tournament, but of erasing it from one’s mind for reasons of personal ethics, even if that meant ending the habit of consuming football on television. The word is with the boycotters.
The World Cup in Qatar is now just a few weeks away. despite a ounce of revolt started by Norwaybut quickly frustrated by the FFF, nothing can stop FIFA and Qatar from collaborating, not even the most reluctant NGOs in this planetary event. On the other hand, they can still inform the populace of the fact that the event is still going on happily. On this subject, Amnesty International published a survey last Thursday in which 48% of French people consider “unlikely” the fact of watch at least one 2022 FIFA World Cup match scheduled in Qatar. Popular outrage represented by some football figures such as Éric Cantona, willing to skip the competition without turning off the TV. “In life there are much more important things than footballexplained the King in writing last week. I’m rewatching all the Columbo episodes instead, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen them. »
Ecological aberration, cemeteries and the PSG paradox
Without necessarily going through the facies of the late Peter Falk, other football consumers in normal times intend to go through the boycott. Founder of the Irresistibles Français, Fabien Bonnel belongs to this category. “It’s my personal decisionexplains the 38-year-old man. Therefore, it is not representative of the association, even if several of us boycott this World Cup. We leave each member the option of going through a general assembly or not. Some of the members go there and do the whole competition. » As a symbol, the question divides even within the core group of Blues fans. “With the climate there, I suspected that it would be difficult to go to the stadiums in classic conditions.Fabian continues. From then on, the problem of air-conditioned stadiums meant that I supported this organization less and less. The last turn was the publication of the number of deaths among workers and the extreme working conditions of foreign employees. All this has stirred up the fans at an international level to condemn this World Cup in Qatar. »
Obviously, these revelations will not be enough to empty the stadiums built in the desert, Argentines are the best proof of this. But that doesn’t stop you from feeling outraged. “In fact, there are all the faults of the previous worlds in much worsebelieves Franck*, 36 years old and business manager. They even managed to create new ones with a fashionable attitude. “We have money and we screw you.” All major sporting events have had their dark side, but this is precisely what is called a dark side. Everything is done there in broad daylight without it seeming like a problem to anyone! I will make a total boycott, I do not want any object that could remind me of this World Cup that dirty my sport in the background. » With at least 6,500 deaths in its World Cup venues since 2010 according to the Amnesty International report, Qatar walks with its face uncovered. “I am shocked by the conditions of realization of the stadiumssummarizes Maurice*, sales manager. I’m usually pretty excited to go Panini album shopping to pick up the cards. This time I will not buy it for the first time. I will not watch the matches, so I will also forget about the bars for a month and I will not buy the France team jersey. »
With Fabien, who is used to traveling to support the Blues, the reasoning is similar. “I could not innocently celebrate in cemeteries, where people gave their lives to put the stones on which I would jump to support my team.”Can you imagine. As a fan who actively participates in these competitions in normal times, not going to see this event is already an action. Having said that, I also thought to myself: “If I don’t go, isn’t watching the event on TV also an acceptance of the event?” Today, television rights are probably stronger than the presence of a fan in a stadium, because it drains even more money thanks to the audience and the visibility of the sponsors. Television is the machinery of the football business. So I decided not to watch the World Cup, because human rights and environmental rights are stronger than my passion for football. »
Either one, but in this case, shouldn’t we also boycott PSG’s games since the arrival of QSI? “I don’t watch his games anymore.says Mauricio, 38 years old. I liked Paris Saint-Germain de Weah, Ginola, Valdo. But there, it is no longer PSG. In short, I have a growing distaste for this football. I watch OM out of passion, but the values it conveys attract me less and less. Qatar is paroxysm. Money, bling-bling, excess – that’s enough! » For Franck, the answer is more sarcastic. “When I watch PSG games, it’s just for the pleasure of seeing them lose. I only see them from the final stages of the Champions League, it gives me good portions of marrade every year, thanks to them! »
“If France wins, I will not buy their shirt again”
Favorable to the idea of hosting a World Cup in Qatar, France has finally fallen into its own trap, and the most hypocritical behavior has come to light in recent seasons. “When Idrissa Gueye refused to wear the LGBT colored shirt (May 14, editor’s note), popularity-seeking leaders and ministers were outraged, playing the great white knights by imposing themselves as paragons of virtue and defenders of human rightsFranco recalls. But when two weeks later World Cup organizers said that LGBT flags would be banned from stadiums, total silence on the radio! From knights, they became Jacquouille la Fripouille. She was “Yes sir, of course sir!”, when it was precisely the opportunity to stage a coup. The FFF could have made the jerseys in LGBT colours, then I would have been proud and watched France’s games with a smile on my face. »
Whether the promises will be followed by action remains to be seen, and especially whether France’s Homeric journey to the World Cup final will encourage Fabien, Maurice and Franck to back down. “I am left with the spirit of not seeing a single match of this competitiontrust the first city. I wish the best for the French team, that they become world champions for the third time and that they put me in real trouble if they reach the final. At that time, I will see where my morals are. » The temptation of the beer-peanut-raclette combo before a historic match for the Blues with Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema lined up in attack, impossible to resist? “It will be tough, but I will not see France in the finalsupport Mauritius. Anyway, I don’t like this team. » The closer the deadline draws, the more pressure from friends will be felt and the tenacity of each opponent at the World Cup in Qatar will undoubtedly be tested.
“For the moment, I proudly say around me that I will not lookFrank admits. But like every hangover, I tell myself “never more !”, then comes the following Saturday night… In any case, I am sure of one thing: if France wins, I will never buy their shirt again. I could not wear this third star that will probably be embroidered by the widows of “workers”. » Regardless of the national championships or the prestigious Champions League, the World Cup will take place for the first time in history in the middle of European winter. “On Friday night I was at the Stade de France to watch the Blues play against Austria.Fabian concludes.Discussions around the World Cup in Qatar have come to the table, some have asked me why I take this position… Personally, I don’t pressure people not to go or not to watch, but I encourage them to reflect on your feelings about it. Looking is probably condoning. To what extent did we decide not to condemn these actions? »
By Antoine Donnarieix
*Names have been changed for confidentiality reasons.