Gianni Infantino does his Football Jesus number in bizarre Qatar monologue

Gianni Infantino does his Football Jesus number in bizarre Qatar monologue
Gianni Infantino does his Football Jesus number in bizarre Qatar monologue

An hour after the start of his own teardrop monologue, delivered from the stage of the vast multi-level amphitheater in Doha’s main media centre, Gianni Infantino unexpectedly rose from his seat and spread his arms in a pose of crucifixion, wrists armed, head tilted tenderly to one side. “You can crucify me. I am here for this. Don’t criticize anyone. Do not criticize Qatar. And in that moment, it became clear what we were looking at. Here it is: Football Jesus. Behold, he walks among us.

Football Doesn’t Jesus bleed for you? Doesn’t he accept Vladimir Putin’s medals on your behalf? Like the real Jesus, isn’t he (not literally) struck (not actually struck) by the stones (not real stones) of the unjust, heretics, human rights charities?

A little later, Infantino briefly became Football Mandela (“Do we want to keep dividing? Do we want to spit on others because they look different?” asked the man who promoted what is makes it a racially segregated society). But above all, he was Football Jesus. And what is really clear, the one thing no one should doubt is that Football Jesus had a message in Doha. And that message was… well, what exactly?

Infantino spoke for an hour and a half in total. Sometimes the show was so gripping and grotesque that you didn’t want to breathe or cough for fear of breaking the magic.

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Because that speech was also Infantino’s moment. It was his Imagine, his I Have a Dream, his Earth Song, his Now We Move on to Liars. With this cloak of plaintive Imperial discontent, I declare this World Cup open.

Really, though, between the drawn quotes and the killer lines, Infantino’s performance was something much more disturbing. It was the sound of a man who not only seems tired and angry but strangely drained, who has spent so long living near death and corruption by others that he has begun to rot from it. inside like a dead fish.

Opening remarks will make headlines. Walking to his podium with an air of grandiose false humility, Infantino paused, let the silence gather, then shared his feelings. “Today I feel Qatari. Today, I feel Arab. Today, I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today, I feel handicapped. Today I feel [like] a migrant worker.

It’s tempting to marvel at the virtuosity here. Accused of betraying the rights of various minority groups, of only promoting the interests of the powerful, in the space of three short seconds, Infantino wore a gay face, he wore an African face, he wore a disabled face.

More cynically, the Fifa president dressed in the clothes of a deceased migrant worker who killed the construction of this £4billion cash machine. Later, explaining his struggle against prejudice as a white man in Switzerland, he wields his own red hair and freckles like a magician triumphantly producing a rabbit from a bowler hat.

It was, needless to say, a miserable sight – not to mention the nearsighted, iron-eared and oddly lost. Either way, Infantino was basically talking horse shit. There will be broader fact checks available on the many half-truths and misleading angles spouted here. Some stood out.

At one point, Infantino appeared to say that Qatar offered hope and relief to the world’s poor and desperate, as Europe closed its borders and refused to help. There are a lot of things wrong with the UK. But it’s also a long-standing complaint that Qatar is deeply opposed to helping asylum seekers and refugees. Last year, Qatar only took in 197 refugees despite having war on its doorstep and being one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Zambia took 75,000. UK took 137,000. Infantino isn’t just covering up here, he’s just plain wrong.

There was a lot more of that stuff. Infantino suggested that his own trip to Iran brought peace and tolerance to the nation. “If a few thousand women in Iran are happier because of me, then I will accept all the criticism,” he said, which will certainly be interesting information for women in a beleaguered and brutally patriarchal Iran.

He bragged about Fifa’s new human rights restrictions on World Cup bids. “So would Qatar be allowed to apply as hosts now?” he was asked. “Yes of course because the World Cup is open to everyone”, immediately rebounded Infantino.

In times like these you see his slender but stubborn talent, the thing that put him on this stage, the sense of a giant marzipan man oozing in whatever shape suits the moment, slipping under the door out of reach, altering the contours of his face – marzipan concern, marzipan defiance – as he spins from side to side.

He raised legitimate points. Fifa’s basic argument is that things in Qatar aren’t perfect, but they are better than they were. And that no one but Fifa has addressed these issues, which is true if you ignore everyone who has been tackling these issues for years. But the World Cup has undoubtedly shaken things up.

He is also correct that the cancellation of beer sales in the stadium complex is not such a big deal on its own. The big end of the corner is, frankly, already upon us. Drinking beer is not a human right, especially in an Islamic country. If the hosts are uncomfortable, every time this happens, it’s frankly hard to fight back.

Apart from all that, underneath the fake worry and cod statesman stuff, the base note of this extraordinary spectacle was rage. Infantino is clearly furious with his detractors, furious that this thing can’t be bent to his will. And in the end, it became extremely captivating to see someone so blind to his own contortions, so shameless and clearly losing his grip on his own show.

Infantino announced at one point that he felt “200% in control” of this World Cup, which sounds like the sort of thing someone might say just as their World Cup rears and gallops. in a creak. Especially when this World Cup is already reeling from sponsors, changing dates and constant noise.

This is the most alarming part of Gianni’s song, Infantino’s monologues. Despite all the inanity and toxic spin, one fact remains. That person up there, Corporate Spartacus, with his gay-migrant-African call to arms, is actually the steward of this show, the guardian of this shared sporting gem. The global game, ever so faithful a reflection of the global era, has rarely seemed so splintered, so loose on its hinges, so out of control.

. Gianni Infantino makes his number Football Jesus during dun strange monologue on Qatar world cup

. Gianni Infantino Football Jesus number bizarre Qatar monologue