FIFA President Gianni Infantino accused Western countries of “hypocrisy” saying they were not in a position to give “moral lessons” to other nations, hours before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, reports Al Jazeera.
In a fiery news conference in the Qatari capital on the eve of the tournament, the Swiss Italian said Europe should address its past crimes before pointing fingers at Qatar.
“I’m European. For what we Europeans have been doing around the world in the last 3,000 years, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people,” Infantino told hundreds of reporters on Saturday.
Qatar, which was awarded the right to host the global football tournament in 2010, has received criticism for its treatment of migrant workers and human rights record.
Infantino, son of migrant workers from Italy, said the Middle Eastern country has “made progress” in improving the rights of migrant workers.
“I came here six years ago and addressed the matter of migrant workers straight on, in my very first meeting,” Infantino said, pausing and looking straight at the gathered journalists.
“How many of these European or Western business companies, who earned millions and millions from Qatar and other countries in the region – billions every year – how many of them addressed the rights of migrant workers with the authorities?