Many things are controversial about the organization of the World Cup in Qatar, especially from the point of view of human rights and the environment. Le Quotidien de la Réunion has announced that it will boycott the competition. It is the first French media to make such a decision.
A French first media decides to boycott the controversial World Cup in Qatar. A newspaper on the French island of Reunion announced Tuesday morning that it will miss the 2022 World Cup organized in Qatar (November 20-December 18) due to “intolerable attacks on dignity, human freedoms, minorities, the planet” in l organization of the tournament.
“Without us”, headlined Le Quotidien de La Réunion, one of the two regional newspapers on the island, on the front page of the Tuesday edition.
This is the first time in France that a media has announced that it is boycotting this major football event.
In a statement sent to other local media on Monday evening, the newspaper clarified that “there would be no more (…) articles or advertisements that evoke the sporting aspect of this Mondial-2022”. “Our newspaper will boycott everything related to the sporting event, but it will broadcast information related to the ecological and human issues raised by the competition,” newspaper editor Vincent Vibert told AFP on Tuesday morning. This announcement coincides with the 46th anniversary date of the newspaper.
Human rights and the environment excluded
The editorial team justifies this choice by respecting its editorial line which “defends the values of respect, benevolence, commitment, independence and freedom of expression”.
“This boycott project was proposed by the head of the newspaper’s sports department,” explains Vincent Vibert. “He didn’t know how to broadcast the event, so he proposed to management to simply boycott it, which we validated and presented internally,” he adds.
The competition, which will start on November 20 in Doha, the capital of Qatar, has raised controversy on several occasions. The collectives for the defense of human rights and the environment question the merits of this event. The working conditions of foreign workers who have built the infrastructures and the running of the competition in seven open and air-conditioned stadiums are regularly denounced.
Saud Abdulaziz Abdul Ghani, the man behind the air conditioning concept for these sports halls, told AFP in May that the stadiums would be powered by a solar panel farm. A technology defined as “as sustainable as possible”.
“Boycotting the World Cup due to air conditioning in Qatar’s stadiums would have no effect on greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming,” Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher estimated on Sunday on RTL.