Maurer will be in Qatar for the Switzerland

Switzerland and Brazil had already met at the World Cup four years ago in Russia.

Keystone

Federal Councilor Ueli Maurer will travel to Qatar for the World Cup, a competition starting on November 20, and will attend the match between Switzerland and Brazil.

He is the only member of the government to have confirmed his presence, while he is sure that the head of the Sports Department (DDPS) Viola Amherd will not be there.

Ursula Eggenberger, a spokesman for the Federal Chancellery, told Keystone-ATS that no other participants other than Maurer are currently expected. However, this could possibly change, also depending on the respective agendas of the federal councilors.

The situation on the subject was initially made today by the newspapers of the Tamedia and CH Media groups. The DDPS then confirmed to Keystone-ATS that Amherd will just cheer for Switzerland (included in the group with Brazil, Serbia and Cameroon) from home. No reasons were given for the absence of the Valaisan.

This is not the first time for Maurer

For its part, explained the press officer of the Department of Finance (FDF) Peter Minder, Maurer is planning a business trip to the Middle East at the end of November. At the end of the trip, on 28 November he will stop in Doha to watch, at the invitation of the Swiss football federation and FIFA, the match between Murat Yakin’s team and Brazil.

Maurer, who will leave the executive in December, had already visited the Gulf State for the first time in July 2021 and a second time last March. At the beginning of September, the owner of the FDF then received his Qatari counterpart Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari in Dübendorf (ZH).

Many criticisms of Qatar

The 2022 World Cup will be played in the emirate from November 20 to December 18, in a different location from the usual summer one due to the prohibitive temperatures that are recorded in Qatar in the hottest months. The approach to the tournament was accompanied by a long series of disputes and requests for boycotts, which make the question of representation on the spot by the various governments non-trivial.

In fact, many NGOs accuse Doha of not respecting the minimum standards on human rights. In Qatar there is sharia law, the sacred “law” of the Islamic religion, and women are often discriminated against. Furthermore, the situation of low-income foreign workers is particularly precarious, mainly from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and the Philippines, who are often reduced to conditions comparable to slavery. For the construction of the stadiums that will host the World Cup matches there is talk of thousands of victims among the workers.

Moreover, Qatar is certainly not a country with a strong football tradition, so much so that its national team will play its first World Cup, facilitated by the fact that it did not have to go through qualifying as a home team. Finally, the organizers have been accused on several occasions of having paid millionaire bribes to FIFA to ensure the organization of the event.

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Maurer will be in Qatar for the Switzerland-Brazil match