Paris has become the latest French city to announce it will not broadcast the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on giant screens in fan zones after Lille, Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, and Reims. The boycott comes amid concerns of Qatar violating workers' rights and the environmental damage caused by the tournament in Qatar, and despite France being the defending champions, The Associated Press reports.
There has allegedly been a large number of deaths among foreign laborers in Qatar in setting up the World Cup, BBC News reports. Also, the country plans to have air-conditioned stadiums, which will require a tremendous amount of energy. Pierre Rabadan, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of sports said that Qatar's event staging, "goes against what [Paris] wants to organize." Paris is set to host the Olympics in 2024.
Officials across the political spectrum in France have expressed criticism of Qatar. Martine Aubry, mayor of Lille, called the World Cup "nonsense in terms of human rights, the environment, and sport." However, the French Football Federation was criticized for being quiet about the situation, to which they responded that they were against the "campaign of stigmatization" of Qatar, arguing that they had instead implemented measures to check that workers' rights were being respected, reports The Guardian.
"Let's be honest, this World Cup makes no sense," said former French international and Manchester United player Eric Cantona, "It is an aberration." Cantona will be boycotting the World Cup.