FOOTBALL After a month of fierce debate on whether or not to boycott the World Cup in Qatar by football fans and a few days before the start of the competition , it is still difficult to answer the question. But not impossible
Supporters in the colors of Brazil in the streets of Doha, November 14, 2022. — Anne-Christine POUJOULAT
The blackboard is saturated, almost unreadable. strength. We wrote to; chalk, erased to hand to iron on it, without ever finding an answer to the question. the always insoluble equation at four days before the start of the 2022 World Cup: should we boycott the World Cup in Qatar? Nobody is determined, at least not at all. institutional level.
In France, the question has never really touched upon Christmas spirit Le Graët, convinced that human misery is erased at “paint strokes”. Didier Deschamps has been cautiously insisting for months that players are free to express themselves on the subject, which they have done very little so far. Long discreet, the players of the France team have announced on Tuesday their intention to provide financial support to NGOs “working “for the protection of human rights” and reminded their “attachment” to “refusal of all forms of discrimination” Just enough to save honor.
Barring a huge surprise, a major action by players of all stripes is at hand. exclude. The World Cup, whether played in the Garden of Eden or on a workers' cemetery, remains the high point of a career. To snub her would be as much a sacrifice as a form of injustice – certainly much less compared to; that of the fate of migrants – the footballers being in no way responsible for the attribution of the World Cup to; this or that country.
Voices are raised against the guilt of supporters
The same goes for the (television) viewer. Why deprive yourself of the most beautiful sporting event when the people at to blame are to blame Zürich and Doha? By what right do we impose a doubled moral duty? from deprivation of a major pleasure to citizens who, at just out of a trying pandemic, now also have to endure inflation and energy restrictions.
Author of Qatar, the World of Shame (Libertalia), journalist Nicolas Ksiss-Martov says he is “against the guilt of football fans. On the other hand, it would have been necessary to challenge the politician. As citizens, we would have already dû ask our elected officials, our deputies the assembly, who make commissions of inquiry sometimes very well done, to look closely because it is their role. After all, they voted well. the sending of 200 French police officers to Qatar… ”
Let us recognize all the same our policies a certain constancy in the support to this controversial awarding of the 2022 World Cup to the small emirate since the secret lunch in Paris. the Elysee in 2010 attended by Nicolas Sarkozy, Michel Platini and the Crown Prince of Qatar.
“I don”t want to be the preacher who tells people “no but you don’t realize what's going on there,” Quentin Müller, co-author of Slaves of the Oil Man. This would be an uninstructive and particularly arrogant position. If people want to watch it, let them do it, but if they can keep watching it. the way it was made, at what price it was made, çthat would be good.”
A parallel with climate inaction
Not “focusing on football” unlike the will by Gianni Infantino here seems to be a minimum. But, faced with urgency, can we content ourselves with a symbolic contemplation? The question of the citizen boycott here seems to resonate with the debates on ecology. The inaction of the authorities and the irresponsibility of the wealthiest discourage. However, are we exempted from any effort on the pretext that Elon Musk makes 10-minute journeys in a private jet, or that China and the United States snub COP 27, even if it is not? become ourselves actors in this collective suicide? The same goes for the World Cup.
In both cases, the individual weight exists. On the individual carbon footprint, it should be reduced to 2 tons of CO2 per inhabitant with the objective of neutrality; carbon. However, in 2020, it was 8.2 tonnes of CO2/French on average (INSEE). The possibility to act is therefore concrete and real. On the awarding of a World Cup, however, it’s more of a ripple effect.
Boycott of the CDM > Drop in audiences > Fewer advertisers for broadcasters > Disgruntled Broadcasters Revise TV Rights the decline during the next negotiations with FIFA > FIFA is thinking about it. twice before giving the World Cup to; anyone
A bit more in-depth explanation from Pierre Rondeau, specialist in football economics.
“FIFA won’t lose money as it stands if there is a popular boycott, as the TV rights for the 2022 World Cup have already been granted. been sold. Its brand image will be tarnished, which will subsequently have possible consequences. Losses will initially be for current broadcasters who have paid; to broadcast the 2022 World Cup. But if there is a drop in ratings in Qatar, it will encourage broadcasters to renegotiate to lower TV rights for subsequent World Cups.”
Why would a TV viewer boycott be a disaster for FIFA? /p>
Since 2002, TV rights have been the main source of income for world football. Thus, the structure of the allocated budget to CDM 2018 in Russia consisted of:
- Tickets: 13%
- TV rights 55% ($3 billion in 2018)
- Commercial revenue: 31%
- Other: 1%
Kssis-Martov: “If there were 50% fewer spectators – which won’t happen – FIFA would be forced to go to Kssis-Martov obviously to maintain his income.” In theory, not watching the World Cup would put FIFA under water. But it would be too quickly to forget that Gianni Infantino hides a joker in his sleeve. Pierre Rondeau. “All of this will be counterbalanced; by the fact that the next World Cup 2026 is at; 48 nations. So there will be more matches overall. Ça could incite Fifa to ask or urge that the price not fall despite a popular devaluation following the a functional or effective boycott of the World Cup. In other words, the unit price would go down, but not the total.”
Even if the joker will only be worth this time if we side with it. of FIFA, the dimly lit soccer fan understood that this was the end of innocence. From now on, every major competition risks placing him before an impossible choice. The climate emergency makes it easy to guess that the 2026 version will be singled out for its disastrous carbon footprint (count not far from 5,000 terminals from northern Canada to southern Mexico, hello plane trips) and 2030 n’ there are not many reasonable options: between the joint candidacy between Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay and Ukraine coming to join the that of the Iberian Peninsula, we still left for a good laugh.
The example of the revolt against the Super League
Another argument in favor of disengaged pessimism is the very European-centric dimension of the struggle. “In Africa, Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco, all those countries. are looking forward to it, adds Nicolas Kssis-Martov. In South America, questions around the World Cup only exist a little in Chile (which is not qualified) with the new left positioning itself. There is a side “You piss off teaching us lessons with your stories of migrants while you leave us to die at sea”, which is understandable by the way” The problem is that the combined African and Asian TV markets weigh on the market. barely less than the market in terms of income (32%). “That’s all about a global issue,” Rondeau said. Individual action on a global phenomenon makes our voices very small.”
A beacon of hope in the form of an exception that proves the rule: the weight of supporter groups. Luc Arrondel, CNRS research director and specialist in football economics: “What could have an impact are the movements of supporters as we have seen around the Superliga, where ; many of them were out in the street. This is proof that if you ignore the supporters at all, you expose yourself to their displeasure.” Severe; again, Qatar anticipated the blow by forming its own colonies of supporters. As if cynicism was always one step ahead.