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French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday jumped into the controversy over Qatar hosting the World Cup, insisting the sport should not be politicised. “I think we should not politicize sport,” said Macron, whose national team is defending the title it won in Russia in 2018.
The 2022 World Cup, which starts on Sunday, has been marred by controversy, including over alleged human rights violations by Qatar. abuse, suppression of dissent, mistreatment of foreign workers and harassment of LGBTQ people. “These questions should be resolved while deciding the host of the event,” he told reporters on the sidelines of attending the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bangkok.
french football captain hugo loris has said he will not join other European captains in wearing anti-discrimination armbands during the tournament, saying he wants to “show respect” to Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
Macron, who will travel to Qatar if France reaches the semi-finals, said “politicizing sport was a very bad idea”, noting that France will host the Olympic Games in 2024.
The president traveled to Russia in 2018 to watch Lloris win France’s second World Cup title with a 4–2 victory over Croatia in the final.
France will begin their defense of their World Cup trophy against Australia on Tuesday before playing Denmark and Tunisia.
The Dane has sought to take a stand on Qatar’s rights record, proposing to wear pro-human rights training shirts until the idea was rejected by FIFA.
(This story has not been edited by staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)