They won’t wear LGBT armband “, but the players of the French football team recalled, Tuesday, November 15, their “refusal of any form of discrimination”, before the 2022 World Cup, which begins on Sunday in Qatar. They have announced their intention to provide financial support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working “for the protection of human rights”.
In “collective letter” published on social networksthe reigning world champions acknowledge that the event will take place in “a troubled context”. “Each of us must do our part” of responsibility, they explain, joining other qualified nations which had already expressed themselves on the subject, such as Australia or Denmark.
The Blues had so far remained fairly discreet about human rights, a subject that has crystallized criticism from NGOs. “Our passion should not be the cause of the misfortune of some”they insist, saying to themselves “sensitive” to “alerts from NGOs and associations”.
‘Focus on football’
The financial support promised by the players of the France team will go through Generation 2018, an endowment fund created in recent months by the world champions and “intended to finance actions with a social impact” who are close to their hearts. Several captains of European selections, including France, wore a rainbow armband in September in favor of inclusion and against discrimination. The initiative was to be extended during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
It had been considered that the captain of the France team, Hugo Lloris, would wear it, but the president of the French Football Federation, Noël Le Graët, let it be known that he was not in favor of it. Hugo Lloris himself explained on Monday that he was counting “show respect” to the host country. “ When welcoming strangers [en France], we often want them to follow our rules and respect our culture. I will do the same when I go to Qatar. I can agree or disagree with their ideas, but I have to show respect for it.”he said at a press conference, which sparked strong reactions.
Several qualified nations have taken a stand on these issues in recent days. Australia has published a video where about fifteen players protested against the human rights violations committed in Qatar. The Danish selection had for its part considered training in Qatar with jerseys bearing a message for the respect of fundamental rights, before seeing its request rejected by the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA), organizer of the event. In a letter, she has urged qualifying teams in recent days to “focus on football” and not to fall “in every ideological or political battle”.