Because his club is owned by Qatar, much-criticized host of the next World Cup, MP Raphaël Glucksmann believes he can no longer be a PSG fan: “It’s over!”
Raphaël Glucksmann MEP (Place Publique), committed against corruption in sport, urges European leaders, starting with Emmanuel Macron, to boycott the World Cup in Qatar (November 20 – December 18). Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Thursday that she “had no plans to go there”, while the host country has been the subject of much criticism for several weeks.
The call for a boycott launched in the face of the World Cup 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 much lower than that observed (66%) before the 2018 World Cup in Russia won by the French team, according to an Odoxa survey for Winamax and RTL published on Saturday. Among the reasons for this boycott are the treatment of immigrant workers, the number of deaths at 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 Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) sovereign wealth fund. This causes some embarrassment in France given its attractiveness, its economic weight and its importance in the results of French football. Raphaël Glucksmann is even more embarrassed in the corners because he himself is a long-time supporter of the capital club and has never hidden it.
Glucksmann wants to attack the IOC and FIFA, “ultra-corrupt organizations”
“I’m not going to lie. I haven’t stopped watching PSG games completely, but it’s a permanent problem for me,” he confided to France 5’s C Politique program on Sunday night. It’s my childhood club. I always dreamed that PSG had the best players in the world, even when we were fighting to avoid relegation. We said to ourselves: ‘one day, maybe, we’ll have a super strong team.’ And there, I can no longer be a fan, it’s over. .They recruit Messi, thing, all that, ok. What do you want me to do, say he’s great, thanks? That puts me in a completely strange situation.”
Torn between his conviction as a citizen, his responsibility as a politician and therefore as a public figure, and his love for the round ball, the Place Publique deputy admits that it will be difficult for him to avoid competition. “I’m not going to say I’m not going to watch a game, that’s not true. Because I feel like I’m not going to last, so I’m not going to lie. And besides, I’m not going to call.” for a boycott of the World Cup by footballers. We cannot impose on footballers the responsibilities that the leaders do not assume. The soccer players, they play soccer. Afterwards, he can be civic-minded, and if he himself decides not to go or compete in the Chinese Olympics, that’s fine. But for me, the call has to be with the leaders. There should be no leaders representing our democracies in the room to watch the games.”
Furthermore, Raphaël Glucksmann advocates a reform of the IOC and FIFA, “ultra-corrupt organizations”. “We know that there are stories of corruption in the adjudication of these official competitions. This must be tackled and minimum specifications imposed. We are not going to hold sports competitions only in liberal democracies respecting labor legislation because otherwise we will have few sports events, but there must be minimum criteria.