Inside Qatar 2022: the World Cup of politics and protest – podcast – The Guardian

Today in Focus Series

Football’s governing body Fifa has tried to keep politics out of the World Cup – but there has never been a more political tournament, reports Michael Safi in Doha

How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know

The opening week of the World Cup began in bizarre fashion: a press conference with Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, accusing critics of the tournament of hypocrisy and claiming his own experience gave him a window into that of others: ‘Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel [like] a migrant worker.’

It came after an earlier plea from Fifa to keep politics out of the tournament but it has been a week dominated by off-pitch issues and protests. Michael Safi has been in Doha and hears how fans are experiencing the first World Cup in the Middle East. For sportswriters Sean Ingle and Louise Taylor, it is a tournament like no other and despite the entreaties from the authorities to focus on the football, protests have made all the headlines. There was the Iranian national team who refused to sing their national anthem in protest at the bloody repression across their country, and then Germany whose hands-over-mouth gesture clearly referred to Fifa’s denial of their right to wear pro-LGBT armbands.

The German team put their hands over their mouths before their match with Japan on Wednesday

)

Support The Guardian

The Guardian is editorially independent. And we want to keep our journalism open and accessible to all. But we increasingly need our readers to fund our work.

Support The Guardian