FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Gianni Infantino, the FIFA president, said he “understands discrimination.” 
“As a child, I was bullied – because I had red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian, so imagine,” he said.
Infantino slammed Western nations for “hypocrisy” in a near-hour-long speech

The FIFA president has said he “understands discrimination” as he was bullied for being a redhead as a child. 

Gianni Infantino made the comments during a 57-minute speech in which he accused Western nations of “hypocrisy” for focusing on Qatar’s human rights record rather than their own. 

Infantino opened his controversial speech by saying: “Today I have strong feelings. Today I feel Qatari. I feel Arab, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled, I feel a migrant worker.”

—Dan Roan (@danroan) November 19, 2022

 

Later he said, “Of course, I am not Qatari, Arab, African, gay, disabled, or a migrant worker. But I feel like them because I know what it means to be discriminated and bullied as a foreigner in a foreign country.”

Switzerland-born Infantino continued: “As a child, I was bullied – because I had red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian, so imagine.”

The day before the World Cup starts in Qatar, the FIFA boss stated that the country — which punishes gay people with imprisonment or death and has overseen over 6,000 deaths of migrant workers tasked with building the World Cup infrastructure — has changed and “made progress.” 

“I don’t have to defend Qatar,” Infantino said. “They can defend themselves. I defend football.”

Infantino added: “We have been taught many lessons from Europeans and the Western world. I am European. For what we have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before giving moral lessons.”

The last-minute alcohol ban was a joint decision.

Infantino also used his monologue to comment on the last-minute ban on alcohol within sporting venues, which was announced last night. 

Noting that alcohol will not be served in stadiums at the Budweiser-sponsored event, Infantino said, “Let me first assure you that every decision taken at this World Cup is a joint decision between Qatar and Fifa. There will be many fan zones where you can buy alcohol in Qatar. I think if for three hours a day you cannot drink a beer, you will survive.”

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FIFA president compares his childhood experience of being bullied as a redhead with freckles to the plight of migrant workers in Qatar

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