Multiple cities across France boycott World Cup in Qatar
Mayors across the cities of France are banning outdoor screens and fan zones in a show of protest against the systematic and inhumane abuse of migrant workers in the small Gulf country.
Several French cities are planning to ban fan zones and large screens to show the Qatar World Cup soccer matches.
Some of the cities, which include Lille, Strasbourg, and Bordeaux, are doing so in a show of protest against ecological and humanitarian issues.
Some mayors said the waste of human lives during the construction of the stadia in Qatar is enough of a reason to not promote the event, expected to be held on November 20 to December 18.
Ecologist Bordeaux mayor Pierre Hurmic said on BFM TV on Monday, "It would be a farce if we were to be complicit with the humanitarian and ecological abuses that are embodied by this World Cup."
Qatar is no stranger among human rights groups to being a hot spot for systematic human rights abuse and violations, especially in light of its treatment of migrant workers. The Guardian uncovered in February 2021 that an estimated 6,500 South Asian migrants had died in Qatar since 2010.
Moreover, the International Labour Organisation has slammed Qatar over the inadequacy of its reporting on worker deaths.
Obviously, the organizers of the event, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), have disputed the claims that "the tournament has cost thousands of people their lives."
Although the government admitted that its labor system is still a work in progress, it denied a 2021 Amnesty report that detailed that thousands of migrant workers were still being exploited.
"It would be really difficult to have a party while forgetting the dead bodies and the humanitarian situation in the aberration that is the World Cup in Qatar," Hurmic said.
He added that at such a time when the country is going through an energy crisis, it would be "incongruous" to take part in energy-wasting practices.
Leftist mayor of northern French city Lille likewise stated on Saturday that his city will not show World Cup matches on giant screens in a show of protest.
The city of Lille has announced it will not broadcast any World Cup 2022 matches on it's giant screens.— Boycott Qatar 2022 ------- #BoycottQatar2022 (@BoycottQ2) October 1, 2022
Bravo #Lille 👏👍#BoycottQatar2022 #Qatar #Qatar2022 #WorldCup #WorldCup2022 https://t.co/yjl3dr4PtV
Martine Aubry called the World Cup in Qatar "a nonsense in terms of human rights, the environment and sport."
Last week, Strasbourg's mayor Jeanne Barseghian condemned the abuse of workers' rights and environmental reasons and banned the World Cup fan zones at the home of the EU Parliament.
Reims' mayor has also banned outdoor screens for the same reasons but invited soccer fans to watch the games in local restaurants and bars.