Paris joins big screen boycott of World Cup games from Qatar
After several games in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and South Africa were scheduled to play a number of international friendlies in South Korea this winter.
The move is part of a worldwide trend by European governments to boycott the World Cup in Russia this summer as a protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s policies and the Kremlin’s support for the Syrian government.
European soccer’s governing body FIFA said the move did not “constitute an official request for FIFA’s support to boycott the 2018 World Cup.”
It did not say how many nations have announced they will boycott, or where plans for the boycotts may be initiated.
But it was a major diplomatic victory for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which represents more than 2 million expatriate workers in 60 countries.
“The trade union movement is fully supportive of governments, whether national or international, that are willing to stand up against state repression and uphold the rule of law,” a spokesman for the European Trade Union Confederation said in a statement.
This was not the first time Qatar had been asked to boycott the World Cup. But the situation is different now.
Qatar, which hosts the 2022 World Cup, has had no diplomatic relations with Qatar since the country severed diplomatic ties with Doha in 2017, accusing the emirate of funding terrorism.
Qatar, which hosted the 2002 World Cup, had previously hosted some of the games held in 2011, when Russia was also still an occupying force in the Middle East and Africa.
“This news [of Qatar’s request] does not constitute an official request for FIFA’s support to boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia,” FIFA said in a statement.
“Our work together with partners and other governments is essential to ensure that the World Cup and all it entails is handled and regulated appropriately, on a case by case basis.”
Qatar, the richest country in the Middle East, has been spending heavily on stadiums and other infrastructure, and has been investing heavily in the country’s oil and gas industry.
However, FIFA says that all the money raised by Qatar from this is not used by the country’s Olympic Committee, as previously reported, and Qatar has not been