Xherdan Shaqiri focused on soccer, not politics, as World Cup approaches

FIFA is hosting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a controversial subject.

Due to the harsh summer in Qatar, the game was moved to the fall, disrupting the global football schedule. As a country with little football tradition, Qatar won the bid under the shadows.

But beyond these themes, there are numerous reports on the treatment and living conditions of migrant workers who build the competition venues. Fire midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who is expected to play for Switzerland later this month, sounds more football-focused than any outsider attention.

“Look, we are Switzerland; we stand for human rights and everything is good for humanity,” Shaqiri said this week. “But we’re really focused on performances. It’s a political question that I don’t want to answer because I’m really just focusing on my performances and the most important team because when the World Cup starts, every player, every team Want to show and make their national pride.

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“For me, I really just focus on the performances, not the political side of things.”

Maybe not everyone will feel the same when the game actually starts.

For some, the upcoming tournament is another example of a country using international sports to boost its profile. In addition to the methods the small country uses to host the world’s largest tournament, there are concerns about Qatar’s perception of the LGBT community and its general human rights record.

Fire itself got into a sports shuffle when they opted to keep Arlo White on the air after the famous announcer signed with the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Tour. White, who has previously expressed concerns about the Saudi takeover of English Premier League club Newcastle United, became the face of the nascent golf league earlier this year while playing a few Fires at WGN as his schedule allows. Contest.

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The debate over sports washing is not new. The 2018 World Cup and 2014 Winter Games in Russia, and the 2008 Summer Games in China, are recent examples. Politics combined with sports are common, and while he didn’t dabble in that field on Wednesday, Shaqiri’s past behavior could be seen as political.

In 2018, Shaqiri scored in a World Cup group match against Serbia. After scoring the goal, Shaqiri crossed his hands on his chest, making the Albanian double eagle logo.

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Shaqiri was born in Gilan, Yugoslavia (now Kosovo), to Kosovar Albanian parents. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, and Shaqiri’s gesture is seen as a political message. FIFA fined Shaqiri, the Serbian football federation complained, and then-Swiss coach Vladimir Petkovic said politics and sport should not be conflated.

“It was a fantastic goal, an important one for my team and I’m proud to have scored for them,” Shaqiri said in 2018, according to the Guardian. I can’t discuss the gesture I’m afraid of. We’re footballers, not politicians. Emotions sometimes affect footballers, there’s a lot of emotion there.”


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