Qatar World Cup
Andy Murray discusses players being urged to speak out against the Qatar World Cup. Andy Murray feels it is unreasonable to expect sportsmen to continuously criticize Qatar’s choice to host the Qatar World Cup. FIFA, football’s governing body, has been chastised for awarding the event to Qatar despite the Middle Eastern country’s terrible human rights record and strong anti-homosexuality legislation.
With the first match of the 2022 Qatar World Cup only days away, the indignation has intensified, with many campaigners urging sportsmen and teams to express their displeasure, and sponsors and fans to boycott the main event.
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Tennis players have also come under criticism in recent weeks for participating in the so-called “sportswashing” used by Saudi Arabia and other nations accused of using sport to conceal human rights violations at the Qatar World Cup.
Both Alexander Zverev and British No. 1 Cameron Norrie were chastised for competing at the state-sponsored Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia in December, with Daniil Medvedev, Stan Wawrinka, Andrey Rublev, and Dominic Thiem.
Murray has participated in ATP-sanctioned tournaments in Qatar and Doha, but he has previously turned down invitations to play in exhibition events in nations with bad human rights records, with his agent Matt Gentry stating earlier this year that huge money is on offer to play in Saudi Arabia.
“He’s turned down opportunities in Saudi; I don’t believe he’ll play there because of what’s happened,” Gentry said.
“If you are a former No. 1 player in the world, you could possibly make $1 million to $2 million in the Middle East simply showing up and playing a match,” he continued.
When asked what advise he would offer to players traveling to Qatar for the World Cup, Murray told Qatar World Cup: “That is a tough one.” I’ve also participated in and played events on our Tour in Qatar and Doha.
“I don’t believe it is necessarily the athletes’ obligation to know where their events will take place.
“I’m sure a lot of the guys who are going there have worked their whole lives to be a part of a Qatar World Cup.” I believe such issues should be posed to FIFA and others in charge of organizing important events, whether it is the appropriate thing to do or not.
“I hope everything goes well, but I know there have been some concerns about whether it is the ideal venue to have such a large gathering.”