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World Cup 2022 in Qatar: between indignation and refusal of the boycott, the French political parties divided – Le Monde


The Lusail stadium, which will host the final of the Football World Cup, in Qatar, September 9, 2022. IBRAHEEM AL OMARI / REUTERS Impossible for them not to comment on a sporting event of such political magnitude. Less than two months before the kick-off of the very controversial football World Cup, which will be held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, criticism from public figures is increasing in France with regard to its organization in the emirate, including on the political scene. Overview of the different positions of the parties. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Calls for a boycott: “The World Cup in Qatar is the (big) drop that makes the cup overflow” The left is indignant at an “intolerable spectacle” Each of the left-wing organizations member of the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) clearly opposes the holding of the sports competition in Qatar, for ecological, social and human rights reasons. Thus, in more or less nuanced forms, socialists, ecologists, communists and “rebellious” all call for its boycott. Europe Ecologie-Les Verts has taken a position on the issue for several years, while the attribution of the organization of the event to Qatar dates from 2010. During the regional elections of 2021, the leader of the party, Julien Bayou , then candidate for the Ile-de-France region, had thus repeated the position of environmentalists in favor of a boycott of the event. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers 2022 World Cup in Qatar: Amnesty International points to FIFA’s “responsibilities” in human rights “violations” France rebellious has also taken up the issue head-on . In a press release published Thursday, September 22, the party’s deputies underline their “indignation at the intolerable spectacle of this World Cup” and criticize the “ill-treatment of immigrant workers”, “the air-conditioned matches in the open air” to come, just like the “human rights not respected and LGBTQ+ rights violated” in Qatar. “It is out of the question that there is any representative of the government” on the spot, commented the deputy Alexis Corbière Friday. During a debate organized in August at the National Assembly, the leader of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, denounced: “Under every lawn, there is a cemetery, that of these forced laborers, that of the universalism of violated rights. He had justified the Socialists’ support for the boycott, adding that Qatar was “world champion of CO2 emissions per capita” and that “suspicions hang over Qatari financing of terrorism”. “I find myself in the call [au boycott de l’ancien footballeur] Eric Cantona” argued for his part the national secretary of the Communist Party, Fabien Roussel, on September 14 on Franceinfo. “Because Qatar is a country that still criminalizes homosexuality”, “because Qatar, for this World Cup, has organized construction sites under which there will be thousands of deaths”, he argued. The deputy from the North, however, pleaded for France to find ways to “send messages” on the environment and human rights, during the course of the competition, since it will take place no matter what. . Too late to boycott it according to the RN The National Rally (RN) stands on its side on a ridge line on the subject. Contesting the holding of the competition in Qatar, he affirms at the same time that it is too late to boycott it. “There are certain countries on which we are very observant [sur la question de droits de l’homme] and then there are others on which we are much less “, thus lambasted Marine Le Pen on France Inter, Tuesday. “Now this decision has been taken and I think that sport must be decoupled from politics (…), it would not be, in my opinion, positive to refuse to go,” she added. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “The world of football must develop an eco-responsible conscience with long-term objectives” A position supported by the interim president of his party, Jordan Bardella, Friday morning on BFM-TV: “Now we go. (…) The truth is that this World Cup should never have taken place in Qatar; (…) obviously we shouldn’t have gone there but, once again, it’s what we call facing a fait accompli. “At Les Républicains, the answer to the boycott question comes down to a “no”, said the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, on September 7 on France Inter. ” Nope [au boycott], but I think that we will also have to think about having a World Cup that corresponds to the challenges “which arise” to the whole world “on the climate issue, he argued. For the government, the boycott is not on the agenda To respond to criticism coming mainly from the left, the government prefers to emphasize the fact that the organization of the World Cup in the country of the Arabian Peninsula “was decided ten years ago”, during Nicolas Sarkozy’s five-year term. “It’s complicated a few weeks from the start [de la compétition] to say all of a sudden: in fact, it should not be done”, thus argued the spokesperson for the executive, Olivier Véran, Friday on RTL. The Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, deployed a similar argument to the “Grand Jury” RTL-Le Figaro-LCI, on September 11, adding: “You have teams that have been preparing for years. This decision was taken in another climatic context. It is not a decision that falls to the French State (…) and I do not believe that the fact of [la] boycotting, unfortunately, changes the greenhouse gas emissions of this event. “If I were the head of state, I would not go,” said the former President of the Republic, François Hollande, on the occasion of the Demain le sport festival on Thursday. But “I cannot ask football players (…) not to go to a competition for which they have been preparing for years”, nor to viewers not to watch it, he nuanced. A position that sums up the French political dilemma on the issue. Mary Pouzadoux



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