'I feel gay', this is how the FIFA president tried to empathize with criticism of Qatar

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The president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, surprised this Saturday when He tried to show his empathy with the discriminated groups in Qatar, telling journalists: "I feel gay (...) I feel like a migrant worker."

Infantino opened the traditional pre-World Cup press conference on Saturday with a long monologue in which lashed out at critics of the tournament organization by the country's human rights record.

“Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel (like) a bum. Today I feel (like) a migrant worker,” he said. "I feel all this because what I see (...) leads me to my personal story"

Next, Infantino explained that he had grown up as the son of immigrant workers in Switzerland and that he had been bullied for his accent and for being redheaded and freckled.

“Of course, I am not Qatari, I am not Arab, I am not African, I'm not gay, I'm not disabled (…) But I feel that way, because I know what it means to be discriminated against, to be harassed, as a foreigner in a foreign country.

LGBT rights have been a touchstone for critics of the tournament, as same-sex relationships are illegal and are punishable by up to three years in jail in Qatar.

The president of FIFA also accused critics of Qatar's treatment of migrant workers of hypocrisyadding that engagement is the only way to improve human rights.

Infantino referred to European criticism against the host country in relation to immigrant workers and the rights of homosexuals, bisexuals and transsexuals.

“I am European. For what we have done for 3,000 years around the world, we should apologize for the next 3,000 years before giving moral lessons", said Infantino.

“I find it hard to understand the criticism. We have to invest in helping these people, in education and in giving them a better future and more hope. We all need to educate ourselves, many things are not perfect, but reform and change take time (…) This one-sided moral lesson is nothing more than hypocrisy”.

“It is not easy to accept criticism of a decision that was made 12 years ago. Doha is ready Qatar is ready and, of course, it will be the best World Cup in history“he added.

(With information from Reuters)

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