Editor’s Note: A version of this story first appeared in CNN’s Meanwhile in the Middle East newsletter, a three-times-a-week look inside the region’s biggest stories. Sign up here.
“Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker,” FIFA chief Gianni Infantino said in a fiery tirade on Saturday, comparing his own plight as a redhead son of migrants to that of marginalized communities.
His ostensible empathy with Qatar was due to the barrage of criticism the nation has faced in Western media for hosting the tournament.
But it’s hypocritical of the West to be giving lessons in morality to others, he said.
Those statements on the eve of the World Cup went viral, inviting much anger and ridicule. But to many Arabs and Muslims, they r