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President of FIFA warns two female referees not to shake hands with the sheik as that would offend him

At the FIFA Club World Cup ceremony in Qatar the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino warned the two female referees not to shake hands with the sheik, so we wouldn’t be offended.

On the final match of the FIFA Club World Cup between Bayern and Tigres in Qatar, sheik Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, a member of the royal family, was present. After the match at the final ceremony, he shook hands with the referees, but he ignored the two women referees, Edina Alves Batista and Neuza Back. He did not offer them his hand on the account of them being women.

The two female referees were also warned beforehand by President Gianni Infantino not to offer their hands to the sheik as they would offend him by doing so. At this point, we should ask ourselves why does FIFA, an organization dedicated to the fight against “racism” and “discrimination”, tolerate such behavior at its events, regardless of the cultural practices of Muslims. It seems that such behavior is tolerated by FIFA, as long as the ones acting discriminatorily are not white. Both, Vesel and Čeferin, who have expressed their opposition to discrimination and racism, did not condemn such behavior which shows on international level signs of discrimination toward women.

We should of course respect other people’s cultural differences and practices when we are visitors to their countries. But for many, this seems to be a one-way street, as they believe that only Europeans and “Westerners” should conform to foreign cultural practices both in abroad as well as in their homelands. On the other hand, it seems that a common courtesy behavior for everyone is not expected or requested by FIFA on international events.


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