French FA president Noël Le Graët says: “Qatar is a friendly country”

France’s football Federation boss Noël Le Graët spoke to FranceInfo following France’s qualification for the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup, where he spoke positively about France’s links to host country Qatar, claiming that France and Qatar have a friendly relationship – and that the host country itself is considered ‘friendly‘ by the Federation.

Le Graët said that he did not want to give any lessons to the host country of the World Cup, and that “everyone has their own opinions”. However, when speaking about Qatar’s record on LGBTQ+ rights, the French Football Federation boss admitted that “things need to be changed over time – we’re far from what is practised in Europe, but that is true for many countries“. He then rhetorically asked the FranceInfo presenter to give examples of other countries where human rights are seen as not to be respected, in an effort to de-villify Qatar. 

Le Graët has historically backed Qatar though out the build-up, and has continued to follow FIFA’s instruction on the One Love armband – as he expects the French delegation in Qatar to “behave itself well and show a good image of France” among actions of protest made by several notable European politicians.

GFFN | George Boxall

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