FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: ‘Today I feel Qatari, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled’ in a bizarre press conference speech on the eve of the World Cup 2022

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has raised eyebrows in his attempts to criticize Qatar on the eve of the World Cup.

Infantino tried to take stock of the hypocrisy, but risked overshadowing his message with a poorly worded monologue, in which he declared: “Today I feel Qatari. Today, I feel Arab. Today, I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today, I feel handicapped.

Infantino accused the West of hypocrisy for reporting on Qatar’s problems ahead of the World Cup

The football boss was specifically responding to criticism of Qatar from Europe, as he held a press conference just around 30 hours until the tournament kicked off in Sunday’s opening clash between the hosts Qatar and Ecuador – who we’ll be bringing to you LIVE on talkSPORT.

The game’s world governing body has come under attack for its decision to hold the final in Qatar, where the treatment of migrant workers and the rights of LGBTQ+ people were on the spotlight.

Instead of ramping up the excitement for the tournament the day before it started, the chef instead took the opportunity to try and cool some of the heat that FIFA has endured.

Infantino had a strong word for all of Qatar’s European critics, saying history suggests they are not in a position to “learn people’s moral lessons”.

But it’s likely all the focus will be on one section of his extraordinary speech, rather than his overall message.

Speaking on Saturday morning, Infantino said: “We have taught many, many lessons to some Europeans, from the western world.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: 'Today I feel Qatari, I feel African, I feel gay, I feel disabled' in a bizarre press conference speech on the eve of the World Cup 2022
Infantino risked covering up his post with his bizarre comments

“I think for what we Europeans have done for the past 3,000 years, we should apologize for the next 3,000 years before we start giving people moral lessons.”

Infantino then added: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today, I feel like a migrant worker.

“Of course, I’m not Qatari, I’m not Arab, I’m not African, I’m not gay, I’m not disabled.

“But I feel like it, because I know what it means to be discriminated against, bullied, as a foreigner in a foreign country. As a child, I was bullied – because I had red hair and freckles, plus I was Italian, so imagine.

“What do you do then? You try to engage, make friends. Don’t start accusing, fighting, insulting, you start engaging.

“And that’s what we should do.”

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