Global soccer chief gives angry defense of Qatar as World Cup host
Qatar is a hot topic again, thanks to the World Cup and the outrage of the U.S. Soccer Federation over the decision to award the tournament to the tiny Gulf state.
Predictably, MLS Commissioner Don Garber has lashed out on Twitter.
“U.S. Soccer needs to re-think its decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar as hosting has become a major issue,” he tweeted Friday. “I hope the @USMNT team is successful in their quest for an unprecedented third World Cup.”
U.S. Soccer needs to re-think its decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar as hosting has become a major issue.
I hope the @USMNT team is successful in their quest for an unprecedented third World Cup. — Don Garber (@CGSoccer) May 24, 2018
The question now is whether the U.S. will show its outrage to the soccer world. It would seem rather unusual for a league as global as MLS to remain aloof from the ongoing debate. But that hasn’t stopped other leagues in the U.S. from criticizing U.S. Soccer.
On Wednesday, the National Women’s Soccer League also weighed in.
“I just think, for whatever reason, we’re in a bit of a dilemma right now, and that is, are we going to boycott the tournament?” NWSL President Becky Sauerbrunn told NPR. “The question is, are we going to stand around and watch as people are murdered in the Middle East and all this stuff? We’re in a bit of a predicament that I don’t know how we’re going to solve.”
Sauerbrunn said she believes the tournament would be better off staying south of the border, where it’s safer for the players.
Nations who host a major global event like the World Cup have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the event doesn’t put lives at risk. They must also look after the health and well-being of players involved with the event, whether in the stands or at the tournaments.