The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is approaching and continues to cause controversy. Rightly so, in view of the ecological aberration that this represents (air-conditioned stadiums in the desert), and the disastrous working conditions in which the workers operate for the construction of the stadiums. As noted The Guardian in February 2021 more than 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka died in the country since Qatar obtained the organization of the World Cup ten years ago.
Recently, voices are rising and calling for a boycott of the competition like Eric Cantona or Vincent Lindon. This Wednesday morning on Tipik, the Belgian-Canadian columnist and humorist Dan Gagnon tackled RTBF, his employer, which will be the official broadcaster of the World Cup in Belgium.
Beginning by recalling the violations of workers’ rights for the construction of stadiums, the comedian then continued, under the embarrassed laughter of the animators: “I wondered if it was inappropriate for me to talk about this here. Then I said to myself ‘if for RTBF, 6,500 deaths, that’s okay, then I have room. I could still kill 6,499 people and come back on air next week, easy!”
“More seriously, I laugh with that because I know there is no discomfort. RTBF fully assumes its choice”he continued, dismantling 1 to 1 the arguments put forward by the RTBF to justify the broadcasting of the matches. “Argument 1: it responds to a request from the public. And it’s true. The public is always right. Me, for example, I sell heroin and it’s a hit”he attacked.“Argument 2: If you don’t broadcast the World Cup, others will anyway. Exactly! That’s what I’ve been saying with heroin for years: if someone has to make money with , I like it so much that it’s me”.
And end with his “preferred argument: broadcasting is not endorsement. And we forget that. It’s not because you buy the rights, broadcast the matches and sell advertising during the matches, that you agree with everything Qatar does. Besides, few people know it, but for every euro touched by RTBF, a good thought is donated to Amnesty International”.