Boycott against Qatar world cup grows

More and more pubs in Brussels intend to boycott the football world cup in Qatar.  They don’t intend to show broadcasts, while unlike during earlier world cups several Brussels municipalities don’t plan to show matches on big screens in the open air either.  The pubs and municipalities are keen to show their unhappiness with what they call unethical conditions surrounding the world cup.

In Sint-Gillis the pub Maison du Peuple will break with a tradition that spans a decade and a half and not show broadcasts.  “Thousands of people died during the construction of the stadium.  The stadium is located in the desert and will have to be cooled all the time.  It just can’t be justified at the time of an energy crisis”.  The pub’s Thomas Kok also suggests the decision to appoint Qatar as host nation was a corrupt one. 

In addition to Maison du Peuple Le Caberdouche in the City of Brussels and Brasserie de l’Union in Sint-Gillis won’t be showing the matches either.

For many pubs the world cup is an opportunity to attract extra custom following the woes of the pandemic.  “I couldn’t afford not to screen the games” says the manager of 77 Bar, a sports pub in Elsene. 

Café Luxembourg on the Luxemburgplein too will be showing the matches.  “We don’t agree with the circumstances, but it remains an event that attracts a lot of people, especially in a district with a lot of expats.”

KFK Hope, O’Reilly’s, Lava and Affligem Café all plan to show the broadcasts saying they don’t agree with the situation but can’t afford to boycott the competition.

The City of Brussels, Jette, Oudergem and Sint-Pieters-Woluwe are municipalities that have already indicated no matches will be shown on big screens.  “It’s a shame the decision is being left to individual municipalities says Christian democrat Benoît Cerexhe, Mayor of Sint-Pieters-Woluwe.  “Why are our national broadcasters showing matches?  Why isn’t the Belgian football association not posing any questions?”.   

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