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'Qatar's progress on human rights issues has been superficial' | Miguel Delaney

The draw for the World Cup in Qatar is official and the country showcased itself to the outside w...



The draw for the World Cup in Qatar is official and the country showcased itself to the outside world last week.

Miguel Delaney was in Doha reporting on the draw and he joined Joe Molloy on Off The Ball to discuss the controversies around the tournament and the criticism it has received.

"What a World Cup has become, is a celebration of humanity," Delaney said.

"Remember in 2014, walking along the Copacabana, there were fans there from everywhere.

"For all of its flaws, it is one of the beautiful things about the World Cup. If you are talking about Qatar, where there are obvious religious laws about women, where homosexuality is illegal, should a World Cup really be held [there]?

"If it is this great celebration of humanity which FIFA now try to market, should it really be held in a country where large sections of society may not feel comfortable going [to]?

"You cannot help getting into these bigger discussions around the tournament."

Freiburg fans protest Qatar 2022 Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

Human rights groups have regularly criticised the Qatari government's treatment of women, the LGBTQ community and migrant workers.

Originally, Qatar seemed to state its intention to engage with those criticising the country's poor human rights record. Recently, however, their reaction to criticism has taken a different tone.

Indeed, Nasser Al Kater, Chief Executive of Qatar 2022, rebuked Gareth Southgate telling him to "pick his words carefully" after the England manager said it is a shame that certain sections of the England support will not be able to travel to the country to support the team.

Qatar 2022 Credit: Christian Charisius/dpa/Alamy Live News

"My question would be who from the England squad has been to Qatar," Al Kater said.

"My question to the coach is has he been to Qatar? Is he basing his opinions and his public statements on what he has read? Because it is kind of an issue when you just base an opinion on which you are very vocal about on things which you have read."

Delaney pointed out that in this instance it is important to listen to the opinions of human rights organisations on the ground in Qatar.

"The only response to that is you cannot have a better education than talking to human rights groups on the ground here," Delaney said.

"They would all say the progress, that we are all duty-bound to say that Qatar has made, has not been anywhere near good enough. If anything it is superficial.

"There has been a definite shift in tone where it almost feels like the line is 'how dare you not praise us for making all these changes.'

"Almost every human rights group would say it is not good enough."

https://www.otbsports.com/soccer/they-havent-a-clue-whats-coming-jonathan-wilson-on-qatar-backlash-1327446

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Fifa World Cup Human Rights Qatar Qatar 2022 World Cup 2022