England boss Gareth Southgate has ruled out his team boycotting the 2022 World Cup and questioned what they will achieve in case they would do so. The Gulf state has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons since it was awarded the finals back in 2010. There has been a sharp focus on human rights violations as well as the mistreatment of migrant workers.
“I don’t really know what that achieves. It would be a big story, but the tournament would go ahead,” England boss Gareth Southgate said. “The fact, unfortunately, is the biggest issue, which is non-religious and non-cultural, is what happened with the building of the stadiums and there is nothing we can do about that either, sadly. We have known for eight years that this is going to be in Qatar. Is the stance against Qatar as a country? We are intertwined, as we are seeing with Russia, with all sorts of investment in this country.”
“This is complicated. The issues themselves aren’t complicated; all the repercussions of diplomatic relations and dealing with other countries and other organizations are extremely complicated,” he added. “The players are thinking through how they best respond and try to affect the things we might be able to affect. There are things that are cultural and religious that are going to be difficult to affect and change, but there is an opportunity to use our platform in a positive way, without a doubt. There is a long period to do that, so I don’t think we should rush into that. I don’t think the players feel they could rush something and come to the wrong conclusion or idea. Whatever we do we are going to be criticized, but we are going to try and do our best. There are going to be things ongoing throughout the year.”