Speaking in his role as an ITV Sport pundit for the World Cup in Qatar, Roy Keane hit out at the host nation and the organisers of the tournament.
The build-up to the games at the World Cup has been dominated by controversy.
Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane has insisted the World Cup should not be taking place in Qatar, as he opposes the country’s human rights abuse and doesn’t think it should be ignored for the sake of the world’s biggest football tournament.
He’s spot on. This is bigger than Saipan.
ITV Sport are showing Argentina’s opener against Saudi Arabia — already winning 1-0 thanks to Lionel Messi — and Keane served up one of the most passionate criticisms of Qatar hosting the World Cup.
“The World Cup shouldn’t be here, it shouldn’t be here,” Keane stated, as quoted by the Sunday World.
“We mention the corruption with FIFA, the way they treat migrant workers and gay people… I think it’s great that this is being brought up. You can’t treat people like that.
“We all love football and we are all about spreading the game, but just to dismiss human rights flippantly because of a football tournament, it’s not right. It shouldn’t be here.
“We are talking about common decency, how you treat people. With so much money about, there will always be corruption, but you have to treat people with decency. We should start and finish with that.”
We know that many migrant workers were killed during the construction of stadiums, which won’t be used after the World Cup, and their discriminative laws against the LGBTQ community beggars belief.
Keane was joined by fellow ITV Sport panelist Graeme Souness, who also gave his verdict on the bubbling subject. He seemed to own up to the fact Britain has its own issues with historical human rights issues.
“It was a high risk gamble for them (Qatar) getting the World Cup, the greatest sporting event,” said Souness.
“It puts them on the sporting stage and we have to wait and see whether it is going to backfire on them. They must have calculated that it was a risk worth taking.
“All the human rights activists are pointing a finger at what is going on here and we’ll have to wait and see how it’s going to work out for them.
“They will be praying that the football is great and people will be talking about that going forward, but there are so many activists out there who will be talking about Qatar and their human rights record. That’s a fact of life and they are going to have to deal with that.
“By having a World Cup here, they will be able to put some things right, but they are not going to be able to put everything right.
“We don’t live in a perfect world. Football is such a vehicle for good and bad. Sports washing is going on in our country as there is no way the Saudis should have Newcastle United. They shouldn’t be anywhere near it, but we don’t live in a perfect world.
“Football now has such a profile that the Saudis see it, the people in Abu Dhabi see it and the Americans see it as a chance to improve whatever brand they are involved in.
“The brand of Man City and the other clubs the Abu Dhabi royal family have got, it is only good news about them around the world.”
Souness added: “We are not perfect with our history. The British have not been perfect in many parts of the world and in Roy’s country as well. We are not perfect.”
We share the view that the World Cup shouldn’t be taking place in Qatar. Keane talks about decency but there is none in corruption.