“If I were the head of state, I would not go to Qatar”, declares François Hollande

“If I were the head of state, I would not go”, declared the former president François Hollande (2012-2017) during the meeting “Tomorrow sport” organized at the Maison de la Radio in Paris, this Thursday. “I cannot ask football players (…) not to go to a competition for which they have been preparing for years,” he explained.

“I think that for a PSG player to talk about Qatar is not easy, compared to his employer,” added the former head of state. “On the other hand, a player or a top athlete, and there are many, were able to act to fight against the racism of which they themselves were victims. They were able to engage in certain causes, in particular on the climate issue or on human rights, ”recalled François Hollande.

“It is not so easy to make players bear this responsibility”

“Perhaps some will speak when they are at the World Cup, but that’s not sure, because it’s not the place where it’s convenient to give your point of view when you’re expecting player that he first fulfilled his mission which is to win his competition,” he said.

“When Mbappé takes a position on a subject, it will considerably mobilize a certain number of young people (…) when we see the number of followers on social networks”, he added. “Being sporty is not just about playing with a ball and running fast, it’s also about having a social role, and it’s not so easy to impose this responsibility on the players”, revealed François Hollande.

In France, the deputies of LFI castigated Thursday the holding of the World Cup-2022 in Qatar, evoking the “mistreatment of immigrant workers” and the “air-conditioned matches in the open air”, demanding a “strong political response from the French authorities”.

Calls not to follow the World Cup in Qatar, recognized on human rights or the environment, appear two months before the start of the competition, without meeting a massive echo for the time being. “The position of telling viewers not to watch the game, luckily there is no one behind them to tell them what to do,” added François Hollande.

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