Brussels bar owner won’t air the World Cup, even though it doubles his profits 

When it happens5:53Bar owner in Brussels won’t broadcast World Cup, even though his profits double

Usually, during the World Cup, it’s a non-stop party at Café Maison du Peuple in Brussels.

“It’s crazy. It’s dancing. It’s cheering. It’s pouring beer everywhere. People are united for their country,” said Thomas Kok, co-owner of the bar. When it happens presenter Nil Köksol.

But this year, things will be different. Kok and its partners have decided not to broadcast a single match of the global soccer tournament.

“For the past 15 years, we’ve broadcast every European Cup and every World Cup. But today the trophy is full, if I may say.” “We believe it’s impossible to sell beer around that cynical circus.”

Kok and his business partners have joined a growing boycott of the league over the treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ people in host country Qatar, as well as concerns about how This event will contribute to climate change.

In fact, the 2022 World Cup will not be broadcast at any of the four bars Kok co-owns in Brussels. It was a decision that cost dearly. Kok says he often sees his profits double during the event.

“We’re not here to judge anyone, but we’re in the luxury of being able to ignore it,” he said. “It was a difficult decision, financially speaking, but we couldn’t feel that it was possible to party around this event.”

Instead, this year, he plans to fill those gaps with musical performances, DJs and educational events.

Migrant workers

Kok says he’s boycotting “slave-like” conditions for those who are making the game possible.

According to Amnesty International, there are more than two million migrant workers in Qatar and hundreds of thousands of them have participated in preparations for next month’s World Cup.

According to the human rights group, many workers have faced abuse, lack of pay, unsafe working conditions and brutal working hours. According to Amnesty, thousands of migrant workers have died in the country, and their deaths remain uninvestigated.

“The overhaul of Qatar’s labor system since 2017 has resulted in some notable improvements” organization said in its latest pre-tournament press conference. “However, ineffective implementation and enforcement continue to reduce their impact on migrant workers.”

Some workers who protested their conditions this summer were arrestedaccording to the advocacy group Equidem.

A view of construction work at Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar, in a file photo from 2019. Amnesty International says unpaid and abused migrant workers are responsible responsible for most of the preparations for the 2022 World Cup. (François Nel/Getty Images)

Amnesty is calling on the International Football Association Fédération (FIFA) and its members to contribute US$440 million – an amount equivalent to the World Cup prize money – to compensate the workers. human rights violations while working on World Cup-related projects during the lead years up to the tournament.

Hitherto, Canadian football did not answer the calla fact that Kitty Nivyabandi, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, calls “very disappointing.”

LGBTQ Rights

Another factor in the bar boycott is the way Qatar treats LGBTQ people.

Homosexual relations between men are illegal in this country, punishable by imprisonment or even the death penalty – although there is no evidence the death penalty has ever been used for such a crime, According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association.

In a report released earlier this weekHuman Rights Watch accuses Qatari security forces of unfairly detaining and abusing LGBTQ people, and forcing transgender women to undergo conversion therapy as a condition of their release.

Rasha Younes, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “As Qatar prepares to host the World Cup, security forces are detaining and abusing LGBT people simply for who they are, apparently. such as trust that abuses by security forces will go unreported and unregulated,” Rasha Younes, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release.

“The Qatari government needs to end its punishment for violence against LGBT people. The world is watching.”

VIEW | The Australian team participating in the World Cup said:

The Australian team condemns Qatar’s human rights record ahead of the World Cup

Members of Australia’s World Cup men’s team criticized host country Qatar for its poor human rights record in a black and white video, the first team to attend the 2022 World Cup to do so. Now, advocates and human rights groups are calling on Canada Soccer to speak up.

British LGBTQ activist Peter Tatchell said this week he has been detained while protesting the alleged abuses outside the National Museum of Qatar.

The Qatari government denied Tatchell’s allegations, saying that “friendly and professional” security had asked him to move, and that “rumors” that he was arrested were “completely untrue and without basis”.

Climate cost

Ultimately, Kok says he can’t support what he suspects will be the climate and exorbitant energy costs.

“Look at the absurdity of literally cooling stadiums in the desert,” said Tok. “Europe is very, very [hard hit] by the energy crisis. “

The World Cup organizers, meanwhile, has maintained the tournament will be “carbon neutral.”

Tok said about 90% of his customers supported the decision, which was “heartwarming”.

He said: “10% are extremely angry about it because they can’t watch their favorite games in their favorite bar. “And we understand them.”

In fact, he says he’s not reluctant to let anyone watch games or host events, and he empathizes with those who feel conflicted about how to proceed.

“Of course, I’m also conflicted. I love football. It makes my heart not to watch any matches,” he said.

“We’re not judging anyone. I think the main thing that I want to say to those people and to myself is just to take this opportunity to learn about what’s behind the curtain, to get information.”


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