Soccer World Cup: Bloc Québécois demand that Ottawa not send a delegation to Qatar

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Soccer World Cup: Bloc members demand that Ottawa not send a delegation to Qatar

The Trudeau government says he will make his decision known “in due time”.

Men pose for photos in front of the FIFA World Cup sign in Doha, Qatar, days before the start of the event.

Bloc Québécois MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe is urging Ottawa not to send a delegation to the soccer World Cup which will open on Sunday in Qatar, a country which should never have obtained the hosting of the soccer World Cup. event, he protests.

I hope she will not be there, exclaimed the deputy Bloc member on Tout un matin, Thursday, about the possibility that the Canadian Minister of Sports, Pascale St-Onge, will attend the World Cup.

I hope that no one in Canada, diplomatically, will be sent to Qatar, continued the MP for Lac-Saint-Jean.

Three days before the start of the World Cup in this small Gulf country, the government of Justin Trudeau has still not indicated whether or not it will send a delegation.

Plans will be revealed in due course. and place, replied Wednesday, by email, the office of Minister St-Onge to Radio-Canada, which inquired about the situation.

In the eyes of Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, however, Canada should not send a delegation there, in order to send a clear message both to Qatar and to the international community: We don't wrong because in Qatar members of the LGBTQ community, for example, are sent to prison; because foreign workers are definitely dying.

The Bloc member believes that Canada must exercise its leadership in respect of human rights, a historic role that Justin Trudeau has failed to assert, according to him.

When Justin Trudeau was elected in 2015, we were told: "Canada is back on the international stage" “. I haven't seen anything since then, criticizes Mr. Brunelle-Duceppe.

It's a Quebec sovereignist who tells you that, ironically the Bloc Québécois MP, explaining that in his opinion, Canada must seize the opportunities that allow it to resume this historic role of defender of human rights. /p>

Lac-Saint-Jean MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe speaks in the Commons. (Archives)

The World Cup will take place from November 20 to December 18. Canada will play its first game on November 23 against Belgium. Among the 26 players on the Canadian men's team, there are three Quebecers and six players from CF Montreal.

The member for Lac-Saint-Jean finds it unfortunate that the athletes be put in a position to talk about human rights in Qatar.

That shouldn't happen, he says. Probably a lot of Canadian national team players never heard of Qatar until they knew it was going to be there.

The fact that Qatar was designated host country for the World Cup twelve years ago is decried in many forums. Even Sepp Blatter, who was FIFA president at the time, said earlier this month it was a mistake.

In Germany, football fans have called for a boycott of the World Cup, some displaying a large banner to this effect during games played in Europe and televised. Similar campaigns are underway in France and Spain.

For Mr. Brunelle-Duceppe, the country's soccer federations can influence the selection of countries hosting major international competitions, such as the football World Cup. To do this, they could, for example, carry out actions in concert with their peers in Norway, Finland, Denmark, that is to say with countries that respect human rights.

< p class="e-p">Soccer Canada has associations in each of the provinces and territories, and is affiliated with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Confederation of Football of North, Central America and the United States. Caribbean (CONCACAF) and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Moreover, the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights – and what it entails – should be the first selection criteria for a country to be awarded the hosting of a major sporting event, argues the Bloc MP. A committee of federations that would rely on this statement would not have accepted the candidacy of Qatar as host country of the World Cup, he says. And, on this condition, neither China nor Russia would have qualified for the organization of the Olympic Games, he continues, referring to the Beijing Games and those of Sochi.

There will be no sporting boycott of the World Cup, notes Pascal Boniface, who heads the Institute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) in France: All the qualified teams are too happy to be qualified not to not sacrifice their chances of participating.

In an interview on the Midi info program on Thursday, the director of IRIS finds it difficult to see how a country, which will see its team national access to the quarter-finals or semi-finals, may not send a state delegation.

Moreover, Mr. Boniface notes that boycott requests only exist in the sports field.

If Qatar is as horrible a country as some say, he comments, it's not just the World Cup that should be boycotted , but we should also stop buying gas and oil from it and selling it everything that Western countries sell to it.

On the federal government's website, it is indicated that the Canada and Qatar have maintained uninterrupted diplomatic relations since 1974. The two countries have respectively had an embassy in their respective capitals for about ten years.

In 2020, Qatar was Canada's third-largest trading partner in the Gulf region, with a total of about $196.2 million in two-way merchandise trade, says the Canadian government's website.

With news from CBC, and Euronews

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