2022 World Cup in Qatar: the Blues mute on human rights

Audio 02:32

Striker Kylian Mbappé in front of supporters of the French football team, November 26 in Doha, during a 2022 World Cup match against Denmark.


Text by: Antoine Grognet Follow |

Cedric de Oliveira

3 mins

While the Seven Federations' initiatives for inclusion have been blocked by FIFA, human rights activists continue to show up at World Cup stadiums in Qatar.

During the Uruguay-Portugal match, a supporter descended on the lawn with a rainbow flag, while the British Minister for Sports displayed, on Tuesday, November 29, a “ 

One Love”

armband in the stands during the match .


Positions far removed from those of the players of the France team. 


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From our special envoys in Doha


Two weeks after their arrival in Qatar, the French team's position on human rights has not changed.


I'm not going to go into that area.

Me, what interests me is the game and nothing else


We stay within our role, within our framework.

But we are not insensitive to this situation, that 's

for sure, but here we are, we are here now to play football and it will be that until the end.

Despite the calls for a boycott launched before the World Cup, despite the calls from politicians, in particular the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castera, to use their spaces of freedom to express their commitment in favor of human rights, nothing will do.

Les Bleus follow the French Football Federation which did not want its internationals to wear the rainbow armband.

A guideline hard to find

A position which had reinforced some supporters, including Fabian, member of the Irresistibles Français, in their desire to boycott this Qatari World Cup.


It disappointed me.

We could do better and it is true that the federation could do better.

We also realize, to compare with other nations, that even those who wanted to do it and who were determined to do it saw very strong opposition from FIFA.

I regret it and I hope that can change in the years to come.


Seven federations wanted to take advantage of the World Cup to denounce discrimination, in particular that underway in Qatar against homosexuals, or the conditions in which the competition stadiums were built.

But to avoid the sporting sanctions brandished by FIFA, or to lose energy, Denmark, for example, shared the responsibilities, explains coach Kasper Hjulmand: “ 

When we left Denmark, we said that we would be very active.

We have divided the roles: the people of the Federation focus on the political aspects.

And we focus on football.

Therefore, no words can have an impact on our performance


A text published before the competition

A mode of operation to which the players of the France team preferred a letter, a sort of promise of commitment, presented by vice-captain Raphaël Varane: “ 

It is true that with the players, we decided to s express through a letter, to decide to take action also with the Generation 2018 Endowment Fund, a joint decision of the players, and we are active.

By the time it gets in place, I think that at the beginning of next year, there will be, there will be action that will be concrete and concrete.

We are in action, also in exchange, with NGOs.

So it's moving forward 


See this post on Instagram

A post shared by Génération2018 (@generation.2018)

A restraint that the supporters present in Qatar seem to accept, even justify: “ 

Honestly, if we had to do something, we should have done it from the start.

It was not necessarily up to the players to do it.

If we had to wake up, it was earlier.

We have to give them a chance.

It's a small country, but once again, the organization is top notch.

You have to give them a chance and voila!


And while in Qatar, the armband is banned, in France, the Federation has asked amateur clubs by mail to wear the rainbow colors during their meetings.


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  • World Cup 2022

  • Soccer

  • Qatar

  • Human rights

  • LGBT+