November 19, 2022

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF METRIC FOOTBALL: FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s extraordinary own goal.

On Friday, I suggested FIFA’s tolerance of Qatar’s disregard for human rights should be the final nail in the global soccer body’s coffin.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino apparently agrees with me.

That’s the only logical conclusion to make from the absurd rant Infantino offered in Qatar on Saturday. Just one day before the opening game of the 2022 World Cup, Infantino began by declaring, “Today I feel Qatari, I feel Arab, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled, I feel a migrant worker.”

These are interesting feelings for a Swiss-Italian multimillionaire heterosexual. No worries, Infantino was quick to explain why he can relate to gay people and migrant workers who are fearful of the treatment Qatar may afford them: “I know what it means to be discriminated and bullied as a foreigner in a foreign country. As a child, I was bullied because I had red hair and freckles. I was bullied for that.”

That is a real quote.

Infantino believes that being bullied as a red-headed kid with freckles is the same as thousands of migrant workers dying of heat exhaustion after being denied sufficient rest or water. He believes his freckle trauma is the same as a gay person fearing imprisonment or worse for holding hands with one’s partner at a World Cup. But Infantino was just getting started.

Read the whole thing. As David Hookstead of Outkick the Coverage tweets, “The head of FIFA says Western countries have no moral authority to judge Qatar or other Middle Eastern nations. The West didn’t do 9/11, behead people for criticizing the government, kill gay people, repress women and still have literal slaves. Weak comments from a weak man.”

(Classical reference in headline.)

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