FOOTBALL: England responds to calls to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

FOOTBALL: England responds to calls to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
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Gareth Southgate, England’s manager, has responded to calls for England to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

There are growing calls for England to boycott the World Cup in November in protest of severe human rights violations in Qatar, but Southgate insists he is “not sure” what such a boycott would achieve.

Since FIFA awarded the hosting rights in 2010, the host nation has been accused of abusing migrant workers.

According to research, almost 6,500 people have perished while constructing venues for the competition.

In addition, Qatar has a strict rule prohibiting the LGBTQ+ community from engaging in such acts, and women face significant discrimination in the country, with homosexuality being banned.

When asked by reporters on Sunday if the England team would contemplate boycotting the World Cup, Southgate said, “I don’t really know what it would achieve.”

“Of course, it would be a major story, but the tournament would go on, and the fact is that the largest non-religious and non-cultural issue is what happened with the stadium construction.” Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it.

“As soon as we’ve qualified for the tournament, we should decide what we’ve known for four or eight years, and what our position is on Qatar as a country.”

“Should we demonstrate against Qatar as a country or against a particular issue?” We are interwoven if it is Qatar as a country, as we have seen with Russia.

“Our countries have a diverse range of investments. Will we all refuse to shop at Sainsbury’s? The Shard is a tall building in London. Property investment of all kinds. As we have seen with Saudi Arabia, we live in a complex world of negotiations.

“On the one hand, people are bragging about Newcastle’s investment, and on the other hand, we’re going to them and asking them to lower oil prices so we can get cheaper gasoline, so we’re all watching.” It’s quite complicated and connected.

“I don’t think that is a decision the players or myself can make [to boycott].

“My understanding is the discussions the FA had with organisations like Amnesty International, which is that they feel there would be more change if we go and these things are highlighted, so that is also guiding some of the thinking.

“There are some things that are religious and cultural that are going to be very difficult to change, but there is an opportunity to use the voices and platform in a positive way, there is no doubt.

“Whatever we do, we are going to be criticised, we are going to try and do our best. We have got to use our voice in the right way at the right time. But there are lots of other issues that we are all dealing with.”

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