For them, major international competitions usually rhyme with long trips. Among the most fervent supporters of the France team, however, there are many who will not travel to Qatar during the next World Cup (November 20 – December 18).
If this relative absence cannot be explained exclusively by a desire to boycott, some of the regulars assume their choice not to go to the small emirate, out of conviction. Eric Declety is one of them. Active member of the “Corsairs”, a group of supporters of the Blues based in Dunkirk, he claims a “diplomatic boycott”.
“The leaders of this country are disreputable people. We should never have given them the organization of the competition. They got it by paying, it’s not acceptable. »
Present during the France-Argentina round of 16 in Russia, in 2018, and during the majority of trips to the League of Nations, the Lille player made his decision several years ago. “I told the group from the start that I would not go to Qatar. The subject of the boycott is now very present politically and in the media, but it is too late to talk about it. It was when the organizing country was designated that we had to be moved. »
There remains the question of monitoring the competition, even from a distance. The football enthusiast is torn between the desire to follow the quadrennial meeting and his desire to express his rejection of the destination chosen to host the event.
“It’s still in question in my mind. I am a supporter of the France team, it would be really heartbreaking to deprive me of their matcheshe acknowledges. What is certain is that I am able to watch no other match in the competition to stick as closely as possible to my conviction. »
A boycott since the playoffs
Soufyane Guesmia, 63 Blues matches on the clock, has settled on this question for a long time. And radically. Member of the Irresistibles Français, the main group of supporters of the France team, for eight years, he has chosen to ignore the competition. A complete boycott by ignoring all the matches of the playoffs of the competition, at the stadium and on television.
That is a total of eight Blues meetings between March and November 2021, not counting those of the Algerian national team, whose performance he also follows closely. “I started thinking about it in 2010, when the competition was awarded to Qatar. But at first it was more linked to the corruption that surrounded this choice and the fact that it was not a football country at all. »
“To be totally consistent”
For him, the “click” finally took place in February 2021 at the time of the publication of the Guardian investigation revealing thatat least 6,500 foreign workers died on construction sites construction of World Cup stadiums. “It was the element that swung my position. It was added to all the abuses known in this country: the condition of women, homosexuals, migrants, the ecological aspect… Of course it’s very frustrating as a football fan, but I decided to be completely consistent. »
The 33-year-old supporter had already considered a boycott in 2018 before the World Cup in Russia, where he finally went to attend a match of the band at Didier Deschamps. “We could already ask ourselves questions about human rightshe rewinds. But there had been, to my knowledge, no death for the construction of stadiums. And Russia has a football culture. » This time it will be without him.