Roy Keane has condemned Fifa’s decision to allow Qatar to host the World Cup given the country’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ+ people.
During Tuesday’s live ITV broadcast of Argentina v Saudi Arabia, the former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland midfielder summed up the ethical concerns many have about the controversial tournament. Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar, and thousands of workers are said to have died while building tournament stadiums and infrastructure.
“The World Cup shouldn’t be here. It shouldn’t be here,” Keane said. “The corruption, in terms of Fifa, you have a country, the way they treat migrant workers, gay people.”
With presenter Laura Woods, the ITV expert panel of Keane, Graeme Souness and Joe Cole discussed ethical issues amid the OneLove bracelet controversy. The problem came to a head on Monday when seven countries that had planned for their captains to wear the armbands in Qatar to promote inclusivity backed out amid threats of sporting sanctions from Fifa.
BBC pundit Alex Scott wore the OneLove bracelet during BBC coverage of England’s opening win over Iran in solidarity with LGBTQ+ people.
“I think it’s great that it’s been addressed,” Keane added. “They shouldn’t have the World Cup here. You can’t treat people like that. We all love soccer, we love soccer, we’re spreading the game.
“Bottom line, we are talking about decency, how to treat people. Football, the biggest sport in the world, there is so much money at stake, there will be corruption, but let’s get back to basics, you have to treat people with decency. It should start and end with that.”