– Gianni Infantino went crazy. Comparing the emigration of his own parents from Italy to Switzerland with that of migrant workers in Qatar, the site’s editor writes idrettspolitikk.noAndreas Selliaas, on Twitter.
He was one of many who reacted to an interview with FIFA president Gianni Infantino during a conference organized by the Milken Institute think tank in California. There, the Swiss was asked about the plight of migrant workers in Qatar during preparations for this year’s Football World Cup in the Gulf nation. News agency ap mention the Monday night interview.
Despite numerous reports documenting the situation in Qatar, Infantino claims that workers are proud to have had the opportunity to work in the country.
– My parents emigrated from Italy to Switzerland. Not so far, but still. When you give a job to someone, even in difficult conditions, you give them dignity and pride, said the FIFA president.
He also pointed out that FIFA is happy with the changes they claim to have made in Qatar.
“Having the opportunity to change the condition of these 1.5 million people is something we are all very proud of,” Infantino said.
Monday’s remarks are very reminiscent of what Infantino told NRK in Qatar in November last year. At that time he said:
– Let’s not forget that work is dignity. You give them jobs and opportunities. Now they have introduced a minimum wage and their security has been greatly improved.
– Total stupidity
NRK sports commentator Jan Petter Saltvedt, believes these words from the FIFA president show once and for all that he doesn’t care about all the reports and writings about working conditions in Qatar.
– It is complete folly and rudeness to compare the conditions in Switzerland to what the workers experienced around the World Cup in Qatar, as if it would give anyone joy and pride to be there, Saltvedt begins and continues:
– It’s a matter of survival for them. There’s no question of feel or pride in having a job. It’s about survival. He had lived so far from it all and was completely isolated from all reality, he believed.
Selliaas shares the same view as Saltvedt.
– Infantino’s statement tells us that he did not care or never cared about the migrant workers in Qatar. It is shocking to compare the move from Switzerland to Italy to that of migrant workers being fully exploited in Qatar, he wrote to NRK.
And when FIFA officials were confronted with a year-long Guardians investigation showing that as many as 6,500 migrant workers died in preparation for the World Cup, he claimed that only three people died during the construction of the stadium. .
– 6,000 may have died in other occupations and the like, and FIFA is certainly not the police and is responsible for everything that happens around the world. “But because of FIFA and football, we have the opportunity to explain the situation of all 1.5 million workers working in Qatar,” Infantino said.
However, he acknowledged that the modern slave system existed before Qatar started work to abolish the criticized Kafala system in 2018, and according to Infantino, the World Cup had contributed to positive social change.
– Gives a bad taste in the mouth
Amnesty Secretary General John Peder Egenæs reacted to Infantino’s statement, saying it expressed FIFA’s views.
– It’s scary for us trying to influence FIFA to do more for the migrant workers in Qatar. It reveals attitudes towards migrant workers and people in general that are far from reality, says Egenæs.
He believes he is right that these people come to Qatar to find work, and that work is essential for dignity and survival, but in the situation migrant workers are in, it cannot be justified.
– It doesn’t give Qatar the right to trample on that dignity by paying less, tying workers to employers and placing them in rotting homes, because everything is better than unemployment so therefore this is fine.
Egenæs had no knowledge of Infantino’s family history and immigration from Italy to Switzerland, but thought it would be wrong to include his own background.
– In the situation he was in, it gave a slight bad taste in the mouth to compare with himself.
– This tops it all.
But it’s only been a month since Amnesty released its latest devastating report on working conditions in Qatar, and now Saltvedt doubts that there will be any improvement heading into the championship later in the year.
– This tops it all. Those who have hope that FIFA will try to help really change the situation for workers, I think can give up all hope once and for all. This shows a true way of thinking that has been suspected all along, Saltvedt believes.
He believes this is a clear change in the FIFA president’s tone.
– He has shown a certain understanding of what he has to cover up, but now he has a clear feeling that he doesn’t need to pay attention to anyone. This match was clearly won by Infantino. She is no longer shy about showing her true face and is a bit scary, commenters say.
“Infuriatingly humble coffee guru. Travel practitioner. Freelance zombie fanatic. Certified problem solver. Food scholar. Student.”