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Qatar minister denounces hypocrisy of people calling for boycott of World CupOUS News

People calling for a boycott of the World Cup in Qatar come from a handful of countries that do not represent the rest of the world that is eagerly awaiting the tournament, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al- Thani.

Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to host the World Cup, but the tiny nation has come under intense pressure in recent years over its treatment of foreign workers and restrictive social laws.

The country’s human rights record has led to calls for teams and officials to boycott the November 20-December 20 events. 18 tournament but Sheikh Mohammed said they are not holding water as tickets are nearly sold out.

“The reasons given for boycotting the World Cup do not add up. There is a lot of hypocrisy in these attacks, which ignore everything we have achieved,” Sheikh Mohammed told Le Monde.

“They are peddled by a very small number of people, in at most 10 countries, which are not at all representative of the rest of the world. It’s frankly unfortunate.

“The reality is that the world is looking forward to this celebration. Over 97% of the tickets were sold.
Several participating teams such as England, Australia, Denmark and the Netherlands shed light on the plight of migrant workers in Qatar.

After years of pressure from human rights groups, Qatar has changed its labor laws to dismantle much of its ‘kafala’ sponsorship system, relieving workers of the need to obtain permission of the employer who sponsored their visa in order to change jobs or leave the country. .
Last year, the government of Qatar denied claims in a report by human rights organization Amnesty International that thousands of migrant workers were being trapped and exploited.

Sheikh Mohammed admitted “there are still flaws” which they are trying to correct, but also accused the countries of having “double standards”.
“Why do we always blame our government for these problems, when in Europe every incident is blamed on the company?” he said.

“I think there are people who do not accept that a small country in the Middle East hosts such a global event.”
With less than three weeks to go before the World Cup kicks off, world football’s governing body FIFA has urged teams to focus on the tournament in Qatar and not let the sport get caught up in ideological or political “battles”.
The letter was criticized by Amnesty, which appealed to FIFA to compensate migrant workers in Qatar for human rights abuses by setting aside $440 million.

Sheikh Mohammed also said that although the stadiums are air-conditioned, they will not be operational during matches due to Qatar’s winter weather.

“Temperatures in Qatar in November-December are almost cooler than temperatures in Europe during summer. So air conditioning will not be used,” he said.



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