A little over a year ago, societal scandals arose or re-emerged to the point of raising a big question: should we separate the man from the artist? As often, sport is a perfect mirror of society insofar as, the closer the next FIFA World Cup approaches, the more we are tempted to ask ourselves whether it is advisable to separate sport from politics as regards football. Qatar.
It is true that this Middle Eastern nation is probably one of the most divisive in the world in this area. On the one hand, his contributions to French football are undeniable; More than 10 years ago, many football fans dreamed of seeing at least one Ligue 1 club be able to compete with the greats in European competitions. From now on, it is done with the PSG which managed to make a choice place in the European top 10 thanks to the Qatari investments, and which contributes greatly to the maintenance of France in the 5th place in the UEFA index, in particular thanks to its qualification, Tuesday 13 April 2021, for the semi-finals of the Champions League against Bayern Munich. Same observation from an economic point of view: the benefits are colossal. French football means 8,200 direct jobs, 35,000 indirect jobs and around 955 million euros paid to the State. Suffice to say that Qatar is now one of the main contributors.
On the other hand, the emirate is systematically singled out, both by football fans and the general public, for ethical reasons. Worse still, there are many who simply want to boycott the next World Cup.
Of course, the criticisms are legitimate, Qatar is by no means a model in terms of respect for human rights. The argument most often put forward, but also the most concrete, is probably that of the 6,500 workers who died on the construction sites of the stadiums intended to host the matches. There are also rumors of corruption hovering over Qatar concerning the attribution of the world championship in question, but all this relentlessness lacks both hindsight and discernment, as this country is far from being a case apart. as to the facts with which he is accused.
We can in particular cite the suspicions of corruption linked to the award of the 1998 and 2006 World Cups. China bashing in 2008 during the Olympic Games, or a Russia bashing in 2018 on the occasion of the World Cup, when these two nations have nothing to envy Qatar in terms of non-respect for human rights … to the point of wondering where it comes from ‘one could qualify as a Qatari exception.
What to think of the circulating call for a boycott? Probably one of the worst solutions, not only for reasons of credibility: to see a nation like Norway threatening not to participate in the next Cup ready to smile when you know their weight in the world of football, as well as the odds of see them qualify, but also because such measures have never made it possible to advance a humanitarian cause, as Marie-Eve Wilson-Jamin recently underlined in a column on Sud Radio.
Thus, in the absence of being able to completely disregard the shadow that hangs over Qatar, a truce in the bashing during sports competitions should however be the solution to be favored, insofar as the World Cup will indeed take place, no offense to those who do not wish to separate sport from politics.