World Cup 2022: Infantino intervenes against Qatar critics, plus the latest news – live | World Cup 2022

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Bracelet News: England captain Harry Kane will continue to wear the anti-discrimination rainbow ‘OneLove’ armband at the World Cup, although on the eve of the tournament Fifa announced plans for their own band featuring a series of #vagueplatitudes.

Fifa confirmed their armbands would be worn as part of a partnership with United Nations agencies and it is understood the Football Association is seeking clarification on whether this and the ‘OneLove’ version can be worn together.

While respecting the Fifa-UN initiative, the FA intends to continue supporting the OneLove campaign in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised. FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said the FA is even willing to be fined over the matter as they have had no response from Fifa to a request for permission to wear it earlier in the autumn.

The game’s global governing body said the captains of the 32 nations would wear armbands at every stage of the tournament to support various social campaigns. The theme in the quarterfinals is “No Discrimination”. Wales is another of nine European nations set to wear the OneLove armbands during the tournament.

It’s perhaps worth noting that many members of the LGBTQ+ community have criticized the “OneLove” bracelet, calling it a cop-out because it is what it is Not a rainbow design and because at no point has the FA clarified exactly what it stands for. The Athletic’s Adam Crafton has been particularly vocal on this point and his Twitter timeline makes interesting reading on this and a host of other topics.

Harry Kane wears the 'OneLove' captain's armband during a UEFA Nations League match between England and Germany in September.
Harry Kane wears the ‘OneLove’ captain’s armband during a UEFA Nations League match between England and Germany in September. Photo: Vincent Mignott/EPA

Thanks Will and hello to all our leaders. Today I feel Qatari, Arab, African, gay, disabled, migrant and more than a little disgusted by Gianni Infantino’s toneless, almost hour-long insult to our intelligence and the tens of thousands of migrant workers who have been so appalledly treated in the 12 years of preparation this World Cup. What a vile, hypocritical, self-serving creep the Fifa President is.

It’s time I handed over to Barry Glendenning. What do you think of Infantino’s speech, Barry? We’re all looking forward to finding out.

in case you missed it Here’s Barney Ronay on Emmanuel Macron, joining the monotonous chorus of shiny suits urging people to keep politics out of football. Unless your name is Gianni Infantino, in which case it’s okay to politicize football in the most blatant way imaginable.

What better time for Fifa to release their #FootballUnitesTheWorld message? A cynic might say their largely bland new “social campaign” is an attempt to flood our screens and obfuscate the fact that some gamers will be sporting “OneLove” armbands in support of LGBTQ+ rights. But no, they wouldn’t be that smart, would they?

In case someone forgot It’s only been a few weeks since Infantino wrote a letter to all 32 teams at the World Cup, urging them not to talk politics and “focus on football”.

However, it’s okay to indulge in an incredibly damaging, misleading, and inflammatory speech on the eve of the tournament. Hypocrisy? You decide.

Someone shared their thoughts on Infantino via Twitter! Unfortunately they are unpublishable.

While Infantino is busy making himself feel like a migrant worker from the comfort of his sofa, Here is a timely reminder of how the story of brutal working conditions for low-wage workers in Qatar has unfolded over the past decade.

Did Infantino’s speech go down well? It’s probably best for him not to check Twitter for a while. Or the news media. Or television. Or somewhere outside of his fifa bubble that bends reality.

Infantino: a man so ridiculously oblivious to his own hypocrisy that at times it feels like a brilliantly realized piece of performance art

— Barney Ronay (@barneyronay) November 19, 2022

“Everything is terrible” is no defense for condoning or enabling terrible things, and yet I see it here a lot these past few days. It is fascinating to see authoritarian rule being excused and even embraced as the new normal.

— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) November 19, 2022

Here is a reminder of what conditions are like for migrant workers in Qatar. Infantino obviously understands as long as nobody is overly critical.

Infantino’s Speech

“Today I have strong feelings. Today I feel Qatari, I feel Arabic, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled, I feel [like] a migrant worker”.

It was a strong start from Infantino, that’s for sure. Only he knows exactly why the Fifa multi-millionaire believes he can identify with a migrant worker who works on an infrastructure project in Qatar for low wages under exploitative and dangerous conditions.

On the other hand, since he went on to say, “I know what it feels like to be discriminated against… I was bullied because I had red hair” – thus creating an absurd misequating between himself and LGBTQ+ people who face repression and subject to criminalization – one iota of self-awareness is clearly asking too much. Here are the key points from his Doha press conference, in case you want to further insult your intelligence.


Hello and welcome to our World Cup preparation blog. What is that? Gianni Infantino gave a speech? No doubt it was a reasonable, coherent, morally reasonable…sorry, he said what?!

Gianni Infantino looks upset
We know the feeling, Gianni. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters


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