It has long been known that Eric Cantona will no longer be friends with the soccer World Cup in Qatar. The former France international has not missed an opportunity to express his anger at the event for months.
Cantona had already declared in January that it would boycott the World Cup. “To be honest, I’m not interested in the next World Cup. It’s not a real World Cup for me,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mail: “Qatar is not a football country. In truth, there is no potential there. There is nothing. It’s all about money I think. The way they treated the people who built the stadiums is terrible. Thousands of people have died. And yet we will celebrate this World Cup.”
Since the world association Fifa awarded its tournament to the emirate in December 2010, there has been a lot of excitement in the sports world. In addition to the lack of tradition, the climatic conditions and the energy required to cool the stadiums also caused criticism. With the subsequent postponement to winter – the tournament now begins on November 20th – the conditions should at least be made bearable.
This does not affect the allegations of disregard for human rights and miserable working conditions in stadium construction. Thousands of guest workers are said to have died in the construction of the World Cup arenas and other structures, and hundreds of thousands were exploited. A lack of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, severely restricted women’s rights and lived homophobia complete the picture of horror.
Not only for Cantona a far too long indictment, to which he now devoted himself intensively in an open letter published on Twitter and renewed his criticism. This World Cup is “a great masquerade. Qatar is not a football country! No passion, no taste. An ecological mistake, with all these air-conditioned stadiums. What madness, what stupidity! But above all a human horror. How many thousands of deaths to build these stadiums for people to enjoy themselves for two months and nobody cares.”
Unlike before, Cantona doesn’t just stop at his criticism. The 56-year-old calls for a boycott in an unequivocal and combative manner: “To be against it, so that the games are not broadcast, that there is no advertising, that is absolutely doable,” he writes: “Sometimes you have to make decisions in life, even if it is.” cost us something. May France win or lose. There are more important things in life than football!”
He himself has already decided what he will do in the period from November 20th to December 18th: “I will watch all the episodes of Columbo again. It’s been a long time since I looked at her.”