FIFA chief Infantino fires back at ‘fake’ England World Cup fans claim

FIFA chief Gianni Infantino has fired back at claims England World Cup fans are ‘fake.’ The World Cup in Qatar is set to get underway on Sunday when the host nation take on Ecuador, with Infantino going on the attack as he spoke to the world’s media on the eve of the tournament.

Last weekend, Qatar were accused of paying actors to portray fans ahead of the World Cup, with several videos showing supporters lining the streets of Doha. England, Brazil and Portugal fans were seen in different videos. Infantino has labelled claims that Indian ex-pats supporting England fans in Qatar are ‘fake’ as ‘racist.’

“People shouldn’t cheer for English because they don’t look English?” Infantino said at a press conference. “This is racism. This is pure racism. Everyone in the world has the right to cheer for who he wants.”

Infantino also launched an impassioned defence of the World Cup and claimed in an extraordinary speech that Europe should not be giving ‘moral lessons’ on migrant workers, that ‘no one cares’ about disabled people around the world and that he knows what discrimination feels like because he used to have red hair.

“It is not easy to take the critics of a decision that was made 12 years ago,” he added. “Qatar 2022 is ready, it will be the best FIFA World Cup ever. I am European. For what we have been doing for 3000 years around the world, we should be apologising for the next 3000 years before giving moral lessons.

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And he maintained that everyone is welcome in Qatar. “Today I feel Qatari,” he stated. “Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker. I know what it feels to be discriminated [against]. I was bullied because I had red hair.”

“I have been speaking about this topic with the highest leadership of the country. I can confirm that everyone is welcome. If you hear a person that says the opposite, it is not the opinion of the country or of FIFA.”

Qatar will get the tournament underway when they take on Ecuador after the opening ceremony. England’s first game comes against Iran a day later, with Wales also playing on Monday against the USA.

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