Blinken’s criticism of FIFA. Last Minute WORLD, Football, CURRENT, SPORTS news headlines and events


US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has criticized the International Association of Football Associations (FIFA) for threatening players with a yellow card if they wear armbands that promote inclusion and diversity.

Speaking at a press conference with Qatar’s foreign minister, Blinken said: “Every situation where we see restrictions on freedom of speech causes concern.”

“This is especially true when it comes to diversity and inclusion,” Blinken said at the Doha Diplomatic Club. “I believe that no one on the football field should be forced to choose between upholding these values ​​and representing their team.”

FIFA has not yet commented on Blinken’s statement.

FIFA yellow card warning to players

Hours before players took to the field wearing armbands in support of the OneLove campaign, FIFA warned that players could receive a yellow card immediately. Two yellow cards result in the player being banned from the match played and from the next match.

Seven European teams planned to wear OneLove armbands during World Cup matches in Qatar. England captain Harry Kane wore the ‘No Discrimination’ armband, approved by FIFA and offered to players as an alternative to the OneLove armbands during the match against Iran.

Blinken, who traveled to Qatar yesterday, attended a youth football program linked to the World Cup and then watched the US-Wales match.

Although Blinken has been openly critical of FIFA, he has used a more reserved tone towards Qatar. The energy-rich Middle Eastern nation has come under fire for its treatment of migrant workers ahead of the tournament and its criminalization of homosexuality.

“Without workers, especially migrant workers, this World Cup would not have been possible, we know that,” Blinken said. Blinken noted that Qatar has taken significant steps in recent years to expand the scope of workers’ rights.

Blinken said: “The main work should be done in these areas. The US will work more actively with Qatar to strengthen workers and human rights after the World Cup.”

Blinken spoke at a press conference with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. Sheikh Mohammed denied this when a Qatari journalist asked about press attacks on his country.

“As for the reforms in Qatar, I think that some did not take them into account and based their opinion on existing opinions. Of course, we cannot change the minds of those who only want to attack us and ruin our image,” the Qatari said. Foreign Secretary.

Qatar welcomes 8,000 US troops

Blinken’s visit was part of a strategic dialogue with Qatar. Qatar is also hosting 8,000 US troops at Al Udeid Air Base. He also played a key role in the tumultuous 2021 US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the evacuation of Afghan civilians.

Iran is considered one of the important issues of Blinken’s visit to Qatar. Experts say that Iran currently has uranium enriched up to 60 percent, indicating that Iran is producing virtually no nuclear weapons.

Claiming its nuclear program is peaceful, Tehran has pushed it forward ever since the international nuclear deal signed in 2015 fell through.

Iran billed for defeat in protests

Iran started the World Cup in Qatar with a 6–2 loss to England. The match was marred by protests on and off the field.

The hardline Iranian media blamed the defeat on the ongoing protests in the country. The death of 22-year-old Kurdish Mahsa Amini on September 16 after being detained by the vice police on the grounds that she did not dress appropriately for Islam sparked protests across the country.

Iran blamed the newspapers for instigating the protests and ensuring the defeat of the Iranian national team, which they always use.

The tough daily Kaihan came out with the headline “Iran-2; Great Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Traitors-6. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief, appointed by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iran’s defeat was caused by weeks of unfair and unprecedented psychological warfare waged by traitors at home and abroad against the Iranian team.

Iranian fans chanted slogans with Amini’s name in yesterday’s match, carried protest banners, wore T-shirts and booed the national anthem. Many were even torn between whether to support the national team amid protests in the country, and the government’s harsh reaction to them.

At least 419 people have died in the protests so far, according to human rights activists in Iran. As the match began on Monday, Iranian security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the Kurdish city in the country’s west.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement that the situation in Iran is difficult, with the death toll in the past two months exceeding 300.

Another uncompromising daily Vatanemrooz wrote that protesters in Iran were celebrating the defeat of the national team in the streets, shouting for joy when England scored a goal, and honking their car horns. Footage coming from downtown Tehran and circulating online shows drivers honking and yelling “6” for the number of goals England have scored. The authorities closed a cafe in the northwestern city of Mashhad for supporting England.

“None of the actors were spiritually ready,” writes Sharg, an Iranian pro-reform newspaper.

The nationwide protests in Iran first emerged as a movement for women’s rights against the headscarf or hijab, but soon there were calls for the overthrow of the religious regime in Iran. During the demonstrations, Iranian directors, actors, sports stars and celebrities began to speak out against the government.

Pressure on the Iranian national team not to qualify for the World Cup

The Iranian national team also faced a lot of pressure not to go to the World Cup, which was held in Qatar. The footballers’ meeting with President Ibrahim Reisi last week was also criticized.

Before the start of the game with England, the Iranian players did not sing the anthem and did not celebrate two goals. This is said to support ongoing protest demonstrations in their country.

The slightest movement of Iranian football players is fraught with retaliatory strikes in their country. Some former football stars who supported the protests have been arrested or charged in absentia. Myuslum Moin, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ cybercrime unit, said the English strikers failed to score goals and Iran’s defeat was due to off-field protests by former football players.

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