Madrid, Nov 3 (EFE).- FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, sent a letter Thursday to the respective national federations of the 32 countries taking part in World Cup 2022 in Qatar insisting on the primacy of football over politics and other matters outside the realm of sport.
EFE learned that the missive, signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Secretary General Fatma Samoura, came in response to concerns that soccer is being superseded by politics ahead of the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world.
The Nov. 20-Dec. 18 tournament promises to be a “passionate” sporting competition, Samoura told EFE last week.
Leave politics to the politicians is FIFA’s message. Players, coaches and the national federations should be 100 percent focused on football.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp complained Thursday that players are being put under pressure to speak out on the political implications of the tournament’s being held in Qatar.
“It’s not fair that we expect from them that they go there and make big political statements or whatever. It’s just not fair,” the German said during a civic event in Liverpool where he was honored with the Freedom of the City.
Asked about plans by some players, including England captain Harry Kane, to wear a OneLove armband during the World Cup in support of LGBTQ+ rights, Klopp said: “That’s absolutely fine, but what I don’t like is that we expect them (the players) to do something.”
“They go there to play football,” he said. EFE Lv/dr