FIFA president slams Western ‘hypocrisy’ over Qatar criticism as World Cup 2022 kicks off today, Sunday
November 20, 2022
In fiery news conference, Gianni Infantino said Western countries were not in a position to give ‘moral lessons’.
The FIFA president also said that World Cup fans can survive for three hours a day without beer after sales were banned around stadiums.
“I think personally if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive,” he said this in his opening press conference in Doha. “The same applies in France, Spain, Scotland.”
Speaking further, he said, “Every decision that is taken in this World Cup, it is a joint decision between Qatar and FIFA. Every decision is discussed, debated and taken jointly. There will be, I don’t know how many, fan zones – eight, 10, big fan zones, over 200 places where you can buy alcohol.”
He also pointed out this was not unusual as drinking inside football stadiums is banned in major European nations such as France, Spain, Portugal and Scotland.
Despite some critics calling for companies to boycott the World Cup, Infantino hailed the “commercial success” of this year’s tournament.
“We sold the media rights for around $200m more than the last World Cup,” he said. “We sold the sponsorship rights for also around $200m more than the last World Cup.
“And as far as ticketing and hospitality rights are concerned, we are at almost 200 to 300 million more than the last World Cup.”
Qatar will kick off the 32-team tournament on Sunday against Ecuador. Infantino said the Gulf country has done impressive work in preparing for the matches.
“Doha is ready. Qatar is ready. It will be the best World Cup ever, of course,” he said.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA