Since his club is owned by Qatar, much criticized host of the next World Cup, the deputy Raphaël Glucksmann believes that now he can no longer be a PSG fan: “It’s over!”
MEP Raphaël Glucksmann (Place Publique), committed against corruption in sport, urges European leaders, starting with Emmanuel Macron, to boycott the World Cup in Qatar (20 November – 18 December). Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Thursday that she “had not planned to go there”, while the host country has been the subject of much criticism for several weeks.
The call for a boycott launched as the World Cup approaches is finding more and more echo in French society. Almost half of the French (46%) intend to follow the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (46%), a figure in sharp decline compared to that observed (66%) before the 2018 World Cup in Russia won by France, according to an Odoxa survey for Winamax and RTL released on Saturday. Among the reasons for this boycott are the treatment of immigrant workers, the number of deaths in the construction sites of air-conditioned stadiums and the environmental cost of these constructions.
In Ligue 1, Qatar has controlled PSG for several years, through the sovereign wealth fund Qatar Sports Investments (QSI). This causes some embarrassment in France given its attractiveness, its economic weight and its importance in the results of French football. Raphaël Glucksmann is all the more embarrassed on the corners that he himself is a longtime fan of the capital’s club and has never hidden it.
Glucksmann wants to attack IOC and FIFA, “ultra-corrupt bodies”
“I’m not going to lie. I haven’t completely stopped watching PSG games but for me it’s a permanent problem,” he confided Sunday evening to the C Politique program on France 5. is the club of my childhood. I always dreamed that PSG had the best players in the world, even when we were struggling to avoid relegation. We said to ourselves: ‘one day maybe we will have a super strong team’ And there I can no longer be a fan, it’s over. They recruit Messi, stuff, everything else, okay. What do you want me to do, you say it’s great, thanks? This puts me in a completely bizarre situation. “
Torn between his conviction as a citizen, his responsibility as a politician and therefore as a public man, and his love for football, the Deputy of Place Publique acknowledges that it will be difficult for him to avoid the competition. “I’m not going to say that I won’t watch a match, I’m not. Because I feel I won’t resist, so I won’t lie. And besides, I’m not calling for a boycott of the World Cup by the players. We can’t impose on the players the responsibilities that the executives don’t get caught. Footballers, they play football. Afterwards he can have a civic conscience, and if he decides by himself not to go or not to participate in the Olympics in China, okay. But for me the call must be with the leaders. Not there must be leaders who represent our democracies on the spot to watch the games. “
Furthermore, Raphaël Glucksmann calls for a reform of the IOC and FIFA, “ultra-corrupt organizations”. “We know that there are stories of corruption in the awarding of these official competitions. We have to face it and impose minimum specifications. We will not hold sports competitions only in liberal democracies respecting labor law because otherwise we will have few sporting events, but there must be minimum criteria.