Roy Keane has condemned Fifa’s decision to allow the World Cup to be hosted in Qatar, in view of the country’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ+ people.
Speaking during ITV’s live coverage of Argentina v Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland midfielder summed up the ethical concerns felt by many regarding the controversial tournament.
Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar, while thousands of workers are alleged to have died during the construction of the tournament stadiums and infrastructure.
“The World Cup shouldn’t be here. It shouldn’t be here,” Keane said. “The corruption, regarding Fifa, you’ve got a country, the way they treat migrant workers, gay people.”
With presenter Laura Woods, the ITV pundit panel of Keane, Graeme Souness and Joe Cole were discussing ethical issues amid the OneLove armbands controversy.
The issue came to a head on Monday when seven countries that had planned for their captains to wear the armbands in Qatar, to champion inclusivity, backed down when faced with the threat of sporting sanctions from Fifa.
The BBC pundit Alex Scott wore the OneLove armband during the BBC’s coverage of England’s opening win against Iran in solidarity with LGBTQ+ people.
“I think it’s great that it’s been brought up,” Keane added. “They shouldn’t have the World Cup here. You can’t treat people like that. We all love football, we love soccer, we’re on about spreading the game.
“The bottom line is, we are talking about common decency, how you treat people. Football, the greatest sport in the world, there is so much money involved, there will be corruption but let’s get back to basics, you have to treat people with decency. It should start and finish with that.”