Impossible for them not to comment on a sporting event of such political magnitude. Less than two months before the kick-off of the highly controversial Football World Cup, which will be held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, criticism from public figures is increasing in France with regard to its organization in the emirate, including on the political scene. Overview of the different positions of the parties.
The left is indignant at an “intolerable spectacle”
Each of the left-wing organizations member of the New People's Ecological and Social Union (Nupes) clearly opposes the holding of the sports competition in Qatar, for ecological, social and human rights reasons. Thus, in more or less nuanced forms, socialists, ecologists, communists and "rebellious" all call for its boycott.
Europe Ecologie-Les Verts has taken a position on the issue for several yearswhile the attribution of the organization of the event to Qatar dates from 2010. During the regional elections of 2021, the leader of the party, Julien Bayou, then candidate for the Ile-de-France region, had thus repeated the position of environmentalists in favor of a boycott of the event.
La France insoumise has also taken up the issue head-on. In a communicated published Thursday, September 22, the deputies of the party underline their “indignation at the intolerable spectacle of this world cup” and criticize the "abuse of immigrant workers", "air-conditioned open-air matches" to come, just like the “human rights not respected and LGBTQ+ rights violated” in Qatar. " It is out of the question that there is any representative of the government " on the spot, commented MP Alexis Corbière Friday.
During a debate organized in August at the National Assemblythe leader of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, had meanwhile denounced: “ Under each lawn, there is a cemetery, that of these forced workers, that of the universalism of flouted rights. » He justified the socialists' support for the boycott, adding that Qatar was “world champion in CO2 emissions2 per inhabitant " and that " suspicion hangs over Qatari financing of terrorism.
“I find myself in the call [au boycott de l’ancien footballeur] Eric Cantona » argued for his part the national secretary of the communist party, Fabien Roussel, on September 14 on Franceinfo. “Because Qatar is a country that still criminalizes homosexuality,” "because Qatar, for this World Cup, has organized construction sites under which there will be thousands of deaths", he argued. The deputy from the North, however, pleaded for France to find ways to make "passing messages" on the environment and human rights, during the course of the competition, since it will take place no matter what.
Too late to boycott it according to the RN
The National Rally (RN) stands on its side on a ridge line on the subject. Contesting the holding of the competition in Qatar, he affirms at the same time that it is too late to boycott it. " There are certain countries on which we are very observant [sur la question de droits de l’homme] and then there are others on which we are much less "thus lambasted Marine Le Pen on France Intertuesday. “Now this decision has been made and I think sport must be decoupled from politics (…)it would not, in my opinion, be positive to refuse to go there” she added.
A position supported by the interim president of his party, Jordan Bardella, Friday morning on BFM TV : “Now here we go. (…) The truth is that this World Cup should never have taken place in Qatar; (…) obviously we shouldn't have gone but, again, that's what we call facing the fait accompli. »
At Les Républicains, the answer to the boycott question boils down to a “ Nope "said the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, on September 7 on France Inter. " Nope [au boycott], but I think we will also have to think about having a World Cup that meets the challenges. which arise " to the whole world " on the climate issue, he argued.
For the government, the boycott is not on the agenda
To respond to criticism coming mainly from the left, the government prefers to emphasize the fact that the organization of the World Cup in the country on the Arabian Peninsula “was decided ten years ago”or during Nicolas Sarkozy's five-year term. "It's complicated a few weeks from the start [de la compétition] to say all of a sudden: in fact, it should not be done”argued the spokesperson for the executive, Olivier Véran, on Friday on RTL.
The Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, made a similar argument to the “Grand Jury” RTL-Le Figaro-LCISeptember 11, adding: “ You have teams that have been preparing for years. This decision was taken in another climatic context. It is not a decision that falls to the French State (…) and I don't believe that the fact of [la] boycotting, unfortunately, changes the greenhouse gas emissions of this event. »
" If I were the head of state, I wouldn't go," affirmed for his part the former President of the Republic, François Hollande, on the occasion of the Demain le sport festival, Thursday. But "I can't ask football players (…) not to go to a competition for which they have been preparing for years”, nor for viewers not to watch it, he nuanced. A position that sums up the French political dilemma on the issue.