FIFA World Cup Qatar – cheer or boycott? – Radio SRF 1


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This question is currently moving many football fans. Can you watch the World Cup with a clear conscience or do you have to do without it? Discuss with us!

Lorenz Nydegger will share the excitement. He is a fan of FC Winterthur and is a board member of Fußballkultur.ch, which organizes a public tour at the old bus depot in Winterthur. Lorenz Nydegger says: “We clearly reject the boycott.” This would only strengthen the anti-progressive conservative forces in the Middle East.

Look instead of looking away

The association has been dealing with the topic of Qatar for years. Lorenz Nydegger also traveled to Qatar and Oman. The World Cup is an opportunity to take a closer look at cultural stereotypes. The club also organized a panel discussion around the World Cup in Qatar.

Withdrawal from the World Cup for ethical reasons

Peter Kirschschläger, on the other hand, will boycott the World Cup. The active footballer is a professor of theological ethics and head of the Institute for Social Ethics at the University of Lucerne. The screen on it will remain black. For ethical reasons, take a stand against human rights violations. “If a lot of people can get by without it, that’s a significant sign. Fifa uses ratings to make money through TV rights and sponsorships.”

criticism of working conditions

For years, human rights organizations have sharply criticized the working conditions of the migrant workers who built Qatar’s stadiums. Lorenz Nydegger of the Fußballkultur.ch association does not deny that there have been deaths. But he considers the debate “hypocritical”. Never before have so many advances in labor law been made in such a short period of time as in Qatar. Many guest workers from Asia are in Qatar to escape precarious working conditions in the textile industry. “People are outraged by Qatar and at the same time they are buying cheap Asian shirts from big retailers.”

Doubts about the sustainability of reforms

Thanks to civil society pressure, “something has changed” on human rights in Qatar, agrees Peter Kirchschläger. Qatar has made adjustments, such as the “kafala” system, which massively restricts workers’ rights. Some steps were taken, “though too small”. Peter Kirchschläger also questions whether these improvements will “last in the long term”.

What is your opinion? Discuss with us!

Forum guests:


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  • Peter Kirchschläger, professor of theological ethics at the University of Lucerne and football fan. He is boycotting the World Cup.
  • Lorenz Nydegger, board member of Fußballkultur.ch, which organizes public tours in Winterthur. Football fan rejects boycott.

SRF 1, Thursday 17 November 2022, “Forum”, 10:00

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