Today’s Douchebag Decree goes to (drum-roll please)… Sepp Blatter! The FIFA President has earned this distinction thanks to his cavalier and massively insulting response to the serious question of gay football fans’ safety at the 2022 World Cup.
To bring those of us not involved in the soccer world up to speed: The country of Qatar was chosen by FIFA (Federation International Football Association) to host the 2022 World Cup, beating out other bidding countries and serious contenders the United States, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. FIFA’s pick surprised many and has been clouded by allegations of corruption within the organization. Qatar is known for human rights violations and homosexual behavior is illegal there; conviction can lead to corporal punishment and imprisonment.
To return to our Douchebag-elect, according to the AP, while speaking Monday in South Africa, Blatter was asked if “he could foresee any cultural problems with the tournament being held in Qatar.” He responded with the joke, “I’d say they (gay fans) should refrain from any sexual activities.” Rather a lighthearted response to an issue involving the potential physical punishment and imprisonment of the fans supporting his organization, don’t you think?
Not content to disregard the safety of LGBTQ people across the world in one fell swoop, Blatter decided to dig himself a deeper ditch in his attempt to answer the question “seriously”:
No, but definitely we are living in a world of freedom and I’m sure that when the world cup will be in Qatar and this will be in 2022 and you see in the Middle East the opening of this culture, it’s another culture because it’s another religion, but in football we have no boundaries. We open everything to everybody and I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human being, being on this side or that, left or right or whatever.
The amount of assumptions Blatter makes here is really quite the ignorant feat. “We’re living in a world of freedom”? And don’t worry, in a mere 12 years, Qatar will have caught on to that and completely rethink centuries-old socially embedded taboos? Clearly, he’s taking this seriously.
And by the way, Blatter, in football you have no boundaries? That’s nice. I’m sure the courts will disregard their country’s established laws regarding homosexuality because of that argument. Hopefully, we wont have to see how it holds up in court, but maybe we’ll see you there, dealing with the corruption allegations that have riddled your entire FIFA career.