Pitfalls in FIFA President's speech


FIFA president Gianni Infantino's initial statement from the primary 

World Cup public interview has stood out as truly newsworthy, which 

is all well and good. "Today I have extremely unmistakable inclinations, 

today I feel Qatari, today I feel Middle Easterner, today I feel African, 

today I feel gay, today I feel handicapped, today I feel a traveler laborer," 

Infantino said. "Obviously, I'm not Qatari, I'm not a Middle Easterner, I'm 

not African, I'm not gay, I'm not crippled. In any case, I feel like it, since I 

understand being segregated, to be harassed." Then he refered to his own 

story about growing up the child of guardians who had emigrated from 

the unfortunate south of Italy to Switzerland, as well as the way that as a 

kid he was tormented for his red hair and spots. Taking everything into 

account, this one will be difficult to beat. Infantino might have implied his 

words as a token of fortitude and consideration, yet they seemed to be 

cumbersome, vulgar and hostile. One experience as an oppressed minority 

(Italian migrants in post-war Switzerland and - - I surmise - - messes with red 

hair and spots) isn't something very similar to the separation and experience 

of different minorities. Particularly when you end up being white, male, European, nondisabled and hetero.