A number of French cities and the media to boycott the World Cup

Paris will not broadcast World Cup matches on giant screens in public fan zones amid concerns over rights violations of migrant workers and the environmental impact of the tournament in Qatar.

Previously, other French cities – Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lille, Reims, and Marseille – made a similar statement.

A Guardian newspaper analysis in February 2021 concluded that 6,500 South Asian migrants had died in Qatar since 2010 and the International Labor Organization has said Qatar is not adequately reporting worker deaths.

Qatar has been equally fierce in denying accusations of human rights abuses and has repeatedly rejected allegations that the safety and health of 30,000 workers who built the World Cup infrastructure have been jeopardized.

“It would be really difficult to have a party while forgetting the dead bodies and the humanitarian situation in the aberration that is the World Cup in Qatar,” ecologist Bordeaux mayor Pierre Hurmic said, adding that he would not allow giant screens and fan zones.

Pierre Rabadan, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of sports also said that the conditions in which World Cup facilities have been built are questioned as well. 

Despite the city’s football club, Paris Saint-Germain, being owned by Qatar Sports Investments, Rabadan stated: “We have very constructive relations with the club and its entourage yet it doesn’t prevent us to say when we disagree.”

In September, Le Quotidien, the main newspaper published on Réunion island, announced that it would be refraining from covering the upcoming World Cup because of similar reasons. 

Environmental activists across France have supported the cancellation of public broadcasting in fan zones because outdoor viewing of the November 20 – December 19 tournament would use energy that the country has been storing for winter. 
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