Paris joins big screen boycott of World Cup games from Qatar
Sitting atop a mountaintop at the end of his driveway, with a view of the beach and the Atlantic Ocean, Qatar 2022 World Cup executive chairman, Prince Hamad bin Isa Al-Thani, told me why the world should boycott the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
“There are no rules,” he said, after a two-hour meeting with the Qatar 2022 team in Doha last week. “There is no governing body. The government has decided. They are in control.”
Prince Hamad, the only non-white face in a very white and black world, said the government has refused to meet with him, despite repeated attempts to arrange a dialogue. “It’s not possible to do that with the government. Even if you change the law and the ministry says we are willing to meet, it’s still difficult. They are not willing to talk.
“I don’t care about your world cup. I am not a soccer fan. I am doing something important: protecting the dignity of the people of Qatar from something like that. The people of the world should know that they can’t forget about the people of the Qatari people.”
For four years now, Qatar has been hosting the 2022 World Cup. In the lead-up to the event, there have been reports of corruption and human rights abuses at Qatari airports, sports stadiums, and even military checkpoints, not to mention the torture of migrant workers, including a woman who was stripped naked, sexually assaulted, and ordered to undergo repeated forced abortions.
While the World Cup has generated international attention, and generated $8 billion worth of revenue for Qatar, it has also generated controversy for the country’s ruling Al-Thani family.
While the government says there is a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, they have been accused of accepting bribes from World Cup-related businesses and even from members of the Qatari royal family