Bruno Fernandes has spoken about the controversies of the next World Cup that starts on November 20.
The Portuguese international will head to the tournament to represent his national team alongside teammates Diogo Dalot and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Today was Manchester United’s last game before the extended international break. A last-gasp goal from 18-year-old Alejandro Garnacho secured all three points for the Red Devils, but now the focus is on Qatar.
This year’s World Cup has drawn ongoing criticism since the location was first announced in 2010. One notable difference is that the competition will be held in the middle of the season, in winter, rather than summer. However, there are deeper problems below the surface.
Seven of the eight stadiums that will be in use have been built from scratch by migrant workers in extreme conditions and temperatures. Worker deaths have been directly linked to the construction of the stadiums, with the International Trade Union Confederation estimating that there were around 7,000 deaths in the run up to the tournament.
Qatar’s strict Sharia law also means that any same-sex sexual activity can be punished by various horrific actions, including seven years in jail and death by stoning. Several of the players involved as well as broadcasters, such as Gary Lineker, have raised concerns about LGBT rights laws.
The laws are also incredibly harsh on the treatment of women; women do not have primary guardianship rights for their children and require the permission of a male guardian to study, marry, travel abroad, work in government jobs, and receive forms of reproductive health care.
While it is too late to reschedule the World Cup, the talks and protests will continue throughout the tournament.
Bruno Fernandes speaks
After the match, the 28-year-old addressed the situation on Sky Sports. He said: “Of course it’s strange [the World Cup starting next week]. It’s not exactly how long we want to be playing in the World Cup. I think that for everyone, players and fans, it is not the best time. The children will be in school, the people will be working and the hours will not be the best for people to watch the games.
“We know the environment of the World Cup, what it has been in the last few weeks, in the last few months, about the people who have died in the construction of the stadiums. We are not happy with that at all.
“We want football to be for everyone, everyone has to be included and involved in a World Cup because a World Cup is the world. It’s for everyone, no matter who. I think this kind of thing should not happen at any time. But for a World Cup it’s more than football, it’s a party for the fans, the players, something that’s a joy to watch, it should be done in a better way.”