Eric Cantona: Man Utd legend insists he won’t won’t watch the Qatar World Cup

Eric Cantona

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has announced he will not be watching the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Cantona administered a stinging assessment of the choice to allow Qatar to host the competition. The Frenchman said: “Thousands of people died. And yet we will celebrate this World Cup.”

The former United man has accused Qatar of ‘horrible’ treatment of the workers being used to build the infrastructure required for the tournament. Qatar is building a total of seven new stadiums for the competition and an existing venue has undergone a full renovation.

In February 2021 the Guardian claimed that 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since the competition was awarded to the country. In November though, this figure was refuted by Qatar World Cup chiefs who claimed that only three workers had died.

Temperatures in Qatar reach upwards of 40 degrees Celsius, so it’s easy to see why workers could become ill without ample breaks, water and shade.

But Cantona’s criticisms didn’t stop there, the ex-France forward was unhappy with the choice for other reasons as well.

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Cantona believes World Cup competitions should be awarded to countries where there is a chance of the tournament having a lasting impact. He believes that football will not grow in Qatar despite the competition being held there.

Here is everything Cantona had to say, as reported by the Daily Mail: “To be honest, I don’t really care about the next World Cup, which is not a real World Cup for me. In the last decades, you had a lot of events like the Olympic Games or World Cups in countries that are emerging – like in Russia or China.
“‘But Qatar – it’s not the country of football. I’m not against the idea of hosting a World Cup in a country where there is a possibility to develop and promote football, like in South Africa or the United States in the ’90s.


“Football is the most popular feminine sport in the United States, there is a lot of South American immigration, and a big potential for the sport to develop.
“In fact, now in the United States, the sport which has the most licensed people is football. But in Qatar, the truth is that there is no such potential. There is nothing. It’s only about money I think.
“It’s only about money and the way they treated the people who built the stadiums, it’s horrible. And thousands of people died. And yet we will celebrate this World Cup.
“Personally, I will not watch it. I understand football is a business. But I thought it was the only place where everybody could have a chance.”

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But Cantona is not the only person to speak out against the Qatar World Cup, some players even held on-field protests. The German national team wore shirts bearing the slogan “HUMAN RIGHTS” ahead of kickoff in a World Cup Qualifier.

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It’s also been reported that England players will meet with human rights organisations in March ahead of the World Cup to discuss their stance on Qatar’s record. Gareth Southgate said that he and his side would ‘take time to educate ourselves’ before coming to any major decisions.

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