The 70-year-old veteran coach who coached the Netherlands to a third-place finish in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, said FIFA decided to give Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup for financial and commercial reasons.
Recall that since 2010 when Qatar won the right to host the forthcoming World Cup which will commence in November and end in December this year, most football analysts and enthusiasts have been criticizing the idea.
It is believed that Qatar is not a footballing nation and does not have the tendency to use the World Cup to develop its football. However, the right to host the World Cup has made the country invest heavily in building stadiums and related facilities.
Yet, that has not changed the fact that there are a series of socio-cultural and political concerns that have been generating criticism against FIFA and Qatar.
Unlike western countries, Qatar is still against same-sex marriage, and the discrimination against the LGBT+ community is still waxing strong in the country.
Also, foreign workers in the country are said to be ill-treated by both employers and the government. Women are also victims of discrimination in the country.
Despite all these, FIFA decided to take the World Cup to the country. Though the world football governing body stressed that the right given to Qatar to host the World Cup would minimize the discrimination in the country, most people still believe that FIFA gave the country the right to host the tournament for financial gains.
Van Gaal happens to be one of those people who hated the idea of Qatar hosting the World Cup. The Dutch coach described FIFA’s decision to take the World Cup to Qatar as ridiculous.
Ahead of Netherlands friendlies against Denmark on March 26, and against Germany on March 29, Louis van Gaal said the fact that Qatar would host the World Cup would not solve the problems in the country.
“Now, everybody knows that I find that ridiculous,” Louis van Gaal said. “It’s ridiculous that we are going to play in a country – how does FIFA say it? – To develop the football there, to develop it better there.
“And how are you doing that? By organizing a tournament in that country. But it doesn’t matter, it’s about money, commercial interests. That’s the main motive of FIFA.
“Why do you think that I’m not a member of the commission of FIFA? Because I have always taken my distance against these kinds of organizations. It’s not right, but I can say this directly about Qatar, but this does not help the world get rid of this problem.”
"Everybody knows that I find that ridiculous."— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 21, 2022
Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has labelled the decision to hold this year's World Cup in Qatar as "ridiculous" and motivated by money and commercial interests. pic.twitter.com/t8LvHrxyx5
Louis van Gaal is not the first coach that has openly criticized FIFA’s decision to give Qatar the right to host the World Cup.
Recently, the head coach of England, Gareth Southgate who will lead England to the tournament, said he regretted that some fans of the country would not be able to travel to Qatar because of the restrictions in the country.
The England head coach described the fact that some fans of the country would not be able to travel to Qatar to watch the team as a “great shame”.
He said, “There are the issues that potentially threaten our fans when they travel: the rights of women and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in particular.
“Sadly, through discussions that I’ve had, I don’t think some of those communities are going to go and that’s a great shame.”