Gianni Infantino, FIFA president has come out to urge the 32 nations that are preparing for most political World Cup in the modern era to focus on the games in Qatar and avoid handing out lessons in morality.
In a letter, the FIFA president implored teams to “let football take center stage” he went ahead and said, “Please let focus on football” he asked the 32 competing countries to “not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exits”
Qatar was picked to be the host of this year World Cup in 2010, and this really sparked scrutiny, this is as a result of how the country pays migrant workers who are required to build projects that cost tens of billions of dollars and it laws criminalizing same-sex relationships.
Eight European teams have committed to their captains wearing heart-shaped armbands—this is in breach of FIFA rules—to help in supporting an anti-discrimination campaign, while some other coaches and federations have back calls to help create a compensation fund for migrant worker’s migrants.
Denmark, which are usually in red, will have to wear an all black jersey as a sign of mourning for those that died in Qatar.
Meanwhile, Iran, who were drawn in Group B alongside England, United States and Wales, have also face calls to be removed the World Cup, which will be starting in November 20th.
The president had this to say:
We know football does not live in a vacuum and we are equally aware that there are many challenges and difficulties of a political nature all around the world,” the FIFA leaders wrote in the letter on Thursday, although they did not address or identify any specific issue.
“At FIFA, we try to respect all opinions and beliefs, without handing out moral lessons to the rest of the world. One of the great strengths of the world is indeed its very diversity, and if inclusion means anything, it means having respect for that diversity.
Infantino added: “No one people or culture or nation is ‘better’ than any other. This principle is the very foundation stone of mutual respect and non-discrimination. And this is also one of the core values of football.
They repeated long-standing promises made by Qatar, including by its emir at the United Nations general assembly in New York in September, that all visitors to Qatar will be welcome “regardless of origin, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.”
Around 1.2 million international visitors are expected in Qatar during the tournament.