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Fifa boss’s remarks were wrong, but Africa must stop scoring own ...

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Fifa boss’s remarks were wrong, but Africa must stop scoring own goals

Africans can throw shade and insults at bigots in the world, but we have a responsibility to ourselves

Editor: TimesLIVE

Many have responded angrily to Fifa president Gianni Infantino’s remarks about how soccer could help reduce the shameful incidents of Africans dying in the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe.

His offending remark was: “We need to find ways to include the whole world to give hope to Africans so that they don’t need to cross the Mediterranean to find maybe a better life but, more probably, death in the sea.”

How could he? many exclaimed. We are not objects of pity and, in any case, staging the soccer World Cup every second year will not conceivably keep Africans in Africa. And, says Human Rights Watch, all Africans who risk death in the high seas “never mention the timing of the World Cup tournaments” as a possible disincentive. Using Africa’s misery to justify Fifa’s greed is distasteful in the extreme. Others have said the remarks show just how hopeless the Fifa president is at diversity management, and that he might require some sensitivity training...

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