FIFA, Infantino and the export of moral revolution

In western countries human rights are not only a political category but also a commercial product. There are countries where such groups as homosexuals are a target in politics as well as in business.

Perhaps some time from now women’s football world championships will be held in… the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Of course, such speculation sound like a grim joke. Nonetheless it didn’t come out of nowhere.

Behold the FIFA president Gianni Infantino who has said recently that the Women’s World Cup could be organized by the two Korean states. The Swiss sports activist declared nothing but noble intentions: football is to unite people, and not – unlike politics – to divide them. So if there are two hostile countries it is all about reconciling them. And such goal would motivate their joint organization of a Women’s World Cup.

Infantino doesn’t care about the fact that the DPRK is one big communist labor camp. Therefore, it makes it all the more unsurprising that the Swiss ignored the news about slave-labor victims at the construction of Qatar tournament infrastructure. And by the way, cooperation with all sorts of dictators and caciques doesn’t pose a problem for this man. It would be banal to say that in this case it’s the financial profit that counts, not the views. Various regimes pour gigantic money into professional sport using it as a means of propaganda.

But does it imply that Infantino has no views whatsoever? What he really think remains secret. However he legitimates his activity with statements in which he presents himself as an enemy of eurocentrism and racism. And that should be well received in western countries because such an attitude fits in the dominant trends there.

Only that it is otherwise. In the West FIFA found itself under fire after it had been publically charged with corruption in relation to the inside story of granting the right to organize the World Cup in Russia and Qatar. But political issues are also of great significance.

Russia hosted the World Cup in 2018 so at the time when she had been occupying Crimea for four years then and – through the agency of the separatists – a part of Donbas. In western countries though this topic was brought much less often than, later, another one, that is to say the violation of human rights in Qatar. And it is not only about the aforementioned economic abuse within the framework of World Cup preparations but also about moral issues.

Qatar is an Islamic theocracy after all. The source of law lies within the sharia. Women are subjugated to men. Extramarital sexual intercourse is forbidden. Homosexuals suffer persecution. It is prohibited to possess or consume alcohol – for foreigners there are special regulations allowing exceptions to this but even so the authorities have eventually backed down on a previously granted permission to sell beer to the fans during the Cup.

And yet Infantino defend Qatar and criticizes the West. That’s what he announced by the end of last weekend at a press conference in Ar-Rajjan: “For what we Europeans have been doing around the world in the last 3,000 years we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people”.
Brian Swanson, FIFA director responsible for communications made a coming out at a press conference with his boss Gianni Infantino in Doha, Qatar on November 19, 2022. He announced that he was gay and thanked the world football federation for taking care of people like him. photo. Christopher Lee/Getty Images
Probably even the French postmodernist philosopher Michel Foucault, who died from AIDS in 1984, wouldn’t have been ashamed of such a stance. Though he was a homosexual, he applauded loudly the renowned for “homophobia” Iranian ayatollahs when they overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979.

On the basis of the above-quoted words of the FIFA president, one can draw up quite a substantial oikophobic indictment against the Old Continent, in which not only Christianity and the Enlightenment but also older sources of Western civilization, namely the Mosaic faith and ancient Greek philosophy will be pointed out as the direct culprits.

Thus Infantino made a meaningful declaration It reveals something that goes beyond football. Here we’ve got a clash of two left-wing narratives.

One of them – which seems to be repeated by the FIFA president – is based on the premise that all civilizations are equal and the West guilty of colonial crimes should humble itself before the rest of the world. In the other narrative the equality between civilization is out of the question. The West – depicted as the cradle and promoter of human right (including, inter alia, the rights of women and sexual minorities) is morally superior for instance to this civilization zone, where the sharia is in force.

Considerable interests are behind both narratives.

In western countries human rights are not only a political category but also a commercial product. There are countries where such groups as homosexuals are a target in politics as well as in business. This very week, the German Football Association has learnt about it as a FIFA member, getting hit hard by the retail giant on the German market – REWE (hypermarket owner, incl. Billa and Penny-Markt as well as a travel agency network).

It’s all about the fact the captain of the German national team, goalkeeper Manuel Neur – just as captains of seven other Europeans teams – was to play in Qatar with a rainbow-colored armband as part of the “One Love” action to thus demonstrate solidarity with sexual minorities in a “homophobic” country. FIFA recognized this gesture as “unfavorable” to the World Cup host and they threatened with yellow cards. In this situation European teams – including the German one – wishing not to risk penalties, gave in and withdrew from the action, thus incurring wrath for capitulation.

Arabic-style World Cup. How does one maintain at least a minimum semblance of conformity to Islam in sport?

You can change your citizenship, but it’s difficult to disassociate yourself from your faith. It is not easy to convert a Christian into a Muslim.

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And so the REWE CEO, Lionel Souque, issued a statement, in which he wrote that his company opted for diversity and believed the FIFA’s decision to be outrageous. And the German football association had to suffer consequences. REWE terminated the contract forthwith. And it is difficult to imagine that such a decision wasn’t dictated by a business calculation either.

German soccer players weren’t even helped by their protest consisting in covering their mouth when they were posing for the photo before the match against Japan (they lost quite unexpectedly). By doing which they wanted to suggest they had been gaged.

In turn, the stigmatization of Western colonialism is driven by the interests of politicians from Asian, African and Latin American countries. They prey on the anti-Western (especially anti-American) resentments of the societies of the Global South. These are politicians who are against, for example, restrictions against Russia for its assault on Ukraine. And they can count on the understanding of Pope Francis. And it turns out that their spokesman is Infantino.

Among these politicians there is the newly elected president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. His victory in the October election was celebrated in the West (including Poland) by people from the left-liberal establishment. It is significant that Lula’s pro-Kremlin geopolitical course does not hurt them. It is enough that someone who can be called a “Russian foot-wrapping” is an antagonist of the American pro-Trump right wing, and then they are not only accepted but also enthusiastically celebrated after the election victory. And it has a name: hypocrisy.

To sum it up: who, in the argument between two left-wing options is right? Surely it is not Infantino. When the public opinion acts against violence aimed at “misfits” in such countries as Qatar (especially when such deeds have a legal sanction there), such protests are most commendable.

The problem is that we are also dealing with an export of moral revolution, whose goal is to accustom societies with various deviant behaviors. And this is already not standing up for human dignity but insulting it.

– Filip Memches
– Translated by Dominik Szczęsny-Kostanecki

TVP WEEKLY. Editorial team and jornalists

Main photo: German football players covered their mouth before the match against Japan to suggest they had been gaged. Fot. Maja Hitij – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
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