Alex Scott explains reasons for not boycotting World Cup in passionate speech

by 24britishtvNov. 21, 2022, 12:40 a.m. 17
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Football pundit Alex Scott has explained her reasons for not boycotting the World Cup after slamming FIFA President Gianni Infantino for his explosive speech ahead of the Qatar World Cup.

Infantino launched a 54-minute tirade in front of a packed out media centre on Saturday, where he likened himself to a succession of minority groups in a bid to reaffirm the footballing body's commitment to inclusivity at this year's tournament. "Today I feel Qatari," he said. "Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel (like) a migrant worker."

Speaking on BBC Sport ahead of the opening game of the tournament between Qatar and Ecuador, Scott explained that she was considering boycotting the World Cup but believes that would have been the easy option.

"I totally understand their reasons as well as a whole heap of fans from around the world from the LGBT+ community not wanting to travel here," said Scott. "Once again we referenced Gianni Infantino from what he said. You are not gay. You'll never understand travelling to a country where you are fearing for your life just because of your preference of who you choose to love."

The former Arsenal defender added: "There's so much around this as well. To keep saying football is for everyone. That's what you keep feeding us with. We sit here and it’s not, because people have not been able to travel to watch their teams, to support their teams (out of fear) so you can’t say football is for everyone.

"I've had conversations about 'I should be staying at home, I should be boycotting' and I thought long and hard about it. I think that for me personally would have been the easy option."

She added: "I love my job and when I think about it sitting here and having the harder conversations and it's bigger isn't it? We're talking about migrant workers, we're talking about the LGBT+ community we're talking about women's rights.

"You think about four years ago, I was thinking about it this morning, I was the first female pundit for the BBC at the World Cup. You think how far we've moved in the last four years.

"Let's hope in the next four years at the world cup we're never having to have those conversations again."

The build-up to this year's World Cup has been mired in controversy owing to the Gulf state's dubious human rights record. England forward Beth Mead is among the big names to condemn the decision to stage the tournament in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and, in some instances, punishable by death.

Earlier this week, Everton Women's midfielder Izzy Christiansen revealed she had withdrawn from World Cup media duties because the conditions "don't ally with things we endorse in the Women's Super League".

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