OPINION: Qatar 2022, LGBT and Infantino’s theory of ‘hypocrisy’

The global soccer party, the FIFA World Cup, has just kicked off in Doha, Qatar this past weekend. The four-year event features 32 teams representing every continent in the world. The FIFA World Cup remains the most prestigious global soccer tournament lasting close to a month. Around the world, as soon as the world cup starts, all other soccer activities are suspended while soccer fans focus on the next world champion.

The big national teams would be fiercely competing for national and world soccer glory. Africa is not left out of the beautiful game jamboree as it is represented by five national teams namely: Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Cameroon. Ghana controversially deprived Nigeria of a place in football’s top competition. Senegal enters there as the reigning African champions.

The FIFA World Cup is worth millions of dollars, so all resources and efforts are invested to win it. The accompanying money price, a huge financial reward for the ultimate victor, is well worth the wear and tear.

Four years ago in Russia, France lifted the golden trophy and this year Russia was banned from the tournament due to its invasion of neighboring Ukraine. This year’s edition has Brazil and Argentina as top favourites.

This year, due to the weather conditions in Qatar, the tournament had to be moved up to November (instead of the traditional June/July) to accommodate the weather requirements.

A small oil-rich country Qatar’s bid to host the world cup had great ambition and pride woven around it. Here is a small Muslim Arab country made famous by petrodollars and world-class infrastructure advancement that got the go-ahead to house the world. The dazzling capital city, Doha, like Dubai, remains a tourist attraction.

Having ‘corruptibly’ won the bid to host the world soccer event, controversy had followed its success and every move to host it. Accusations and accusations of bribery and corruption soon followed Qatar’s triumph. The International Football Federation (FIFA) under ousted Sepp Blatter had awarded the right to Qatar due to massive vote buying and corrupt enrichment.

Blatter, himself and his executive committee, were arrested and investigated by the American FBI for the conquest of Qatar’s lodging rights. FIFA’s new president, Gianni Infantino, came on board at a period when FIFA was subject to historic scrutiny. The reputation of the world soccer federation was battered.

And now that hostilities have begun, controversies still rage over the host country’s human rights record, mistreatment of migrant workers and various LGBT rights issues. Qatar is still a homophobic country and the leadership is mired in some kind of royal dictatorship.

ALSO READ: FIFA urges the nations that will participate in the World Cup in Qatar to focus on soccer

Gay rights do not exist in the Gulf state like in many Arab countries. And even in Africa! They see Adam and Steve’s sexual relations as an abomination!

FIFA, under the charismatic leadership of Infantino, should use the tournament to reinvent itself.

Blatter had recently described the attribution of hosting rights to Qatar as a “mistake”, but one wonders why crying over spilled milk should be taken seriously. Mistake or no mistake, the bid for future World Cup venues must be made in a transparent manner, taking many aspects into account, such as human rights, gay rights and democracy.

While the gay phenomenon is generally seen as a moral aberration, we maintain that Africans are not left out of the homophobic mob. Some unfortunate people had been killed while ‘loving’ their fellow Adams! Even in Nigeria, homosexuality is still a criminal offence.

For us, therefore, homosexuality is morally reprehensible! We are in favor of the natural sexual relationship between Adam and Eve, something that represents a sure way of guaranteeing the continuity of humanity.

Those seeking support for gays and lesbians, themselves happily married with children, must dismiss their hypocrisy. We can only take them seriously if they did not marry and have children out of wedlock.

Infantino recently held a press conference in Doha where he slammed the West for its harsh criticism of Qatar’s human rights records, anti-LGBT stance and the plight of migrant workers. For him the western world was being hypocritical in his positions.

Qatari social values ​​differ from his own, but the media’s invective had the stamp of hypocrisy. The head of FIFA said that he saw himself as a Qatari, migrant worker and gay! The ‘hypocrisy’ theory he proposed resonated around the world and struck a chord.

Given grave historical injustices such as the crimes of colonialism, neocolonialism and the slave trade, Infantino, a Westerner, was right to defend Qatar and to label the West (led by the US and Europe) as ‘hypocritical’.

The Western world proclaims human rights, gay rights and freedom when it suits them, but turns a blind eye and a deaf ear when the issue is reparations for centuries of colonialism and the slave trade.

As hostilities started in earnest in Qatar world cup 2020, let’s play the beautiful game fairly. May the best team win the trophy!

AUTHOR: Ozodinukwe Okenwa

Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial position.

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