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Praise for BBC Expose of Qatari Rights Abuses


The BBC has earned praise from across the political spectrum, and from human rights and LGBTQIA advocacy organisations, as its coverage of the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar, in the words of the Guardian newspaper “comprehensively trashed” the World Cup.  The network joined other public sector broadcasters in avoiding the smooching with the powerful Qatari autocracy, and instead focussed on the corruption at the very top of FIFA which led to the Qatari bid going through ten years ago, and gave airtime to respected human rights analysts Amnesty International to discuss the treatment of migrant workers, gay people and women in the state.  Jim Waterson in the Guardian noted “The former England international Alex Scott mocked Fifa’s chief, Gianni Infantino, for suggesting he could feel solidarity with migrant workers and the expense of attending the World Cup. “You will never know what it is like to be a migrant worker. To keep saying football is for everyone – it’s not. You can’t say football is for everyone,” Scott said.   The former England captain Alan Shearer went further. “If he feels that strong about the migrant workers and their families, Amnesty has been asking Fifa for just over $400m in a compensation fund. They haven’t agreed to that. Why?” Shearer asked.”   Terry Starr, media watcher for LGBTQIA magazine programme “ShoutOut” said “I’m the first to criticise the BBC when I think it warrants it, but in this, the one hundredth birthday week of the organisation, they have showed why public service broadcasters like the BBC, like RTE in Ireland, like Svergies Radio in Sweden, are all so important for the health of democracy.  They have shone the light of reason on a very sordid little country and for that we should all be grateful”.   

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