Every day their clash, where almost, for several weeks, in the French Football Federation (FFF). tangled in a series of dysfunctions and some scandals, the FFF was questioned by Amnesty International on Friday in an open letter. The day after France-Austria match (2-0), the NGO lamented the “deafening silence” of the federation and the Blues “in front of the thousands of migrant workers who died on construction sites in Qatar [du prochain Mondial]and the thousands of others subjected to forced labor”. On Saturday, September 24, the FFF gave its answer, upset, in a press release. Claim that Amnesty is a “wonderful organization”the federation has “deplored” a “stigmatization campaign”.
“Free to express yourself or not, [la FFF et l’équipe de France] did not wait for the deadline [du prochain Mondial] daily defend, on the ground and at their level, human rights, as well as other essential causes”says the federation. ” To participate [à la Coupe du monde] does not mean closing your eyes and condoning”indicates the FFF.
In concrete terms, the body headed by Noël Le Graët claims to have “implemented several verification measures on the respect of social rights and the application of respectful working conditions in the base camp of the France team” in Qatar.
The FFF also believes that “The organization of this World Cup has (…) it enabled social advances in Qatar that even some NGOs acknowledge, including Amnesty International.” “Although the reality on the ground is not perfect, this progress is undeniable and positive,” she says.
In its open letter, Amnesty gave the example of the sponsors of the Danish football team, which “They have decided to remove their logos from the players’ training shirts and replace them with a message in favor of respect for human rights in Qatar”.
Very active on the subject on the eve of the World Cup (November 20-December 18), the NGO published, on September 15, an opinion poll conducted among more than 17,000 adults in fifteen countries (in Europe, in the United States United States, Mexico, Argentina, Morocco and Kenya). This study indicates in particular that more than two thirds of those surveyed (and 73% in France) want national football federations “speak publicly about human rights cases” as part of the World Cup.
Before the press release published on Saturday morning, the French Football Federation had always refused to comment on this highly controversial file. Justo Noël Le Graet, the president of “3F”, said to himself ” very happy [que l’équipe de France] come play in Qatar » during the tournament draw, on 1Ahem April in Doha.
The issue of human rights in Qatar and the environmental cost of organizing this event in the emirate are the two main issues raised by personalities and organizations calling for a boycott of the World Cup.