What a big statement this is. Eric Cantona has said he will find better things to do while the entire world will be watching the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
According to the Frenchman, Qatar is far from being a footballing nation and has no potential to develop the football game.
Cantona believes the world cup in the Middle Eastern nation will purely be about money than sport.
“To be honest, I don’t really care about the next World Cup, which is not a real World Cup for me. In the last decades, you had a lot of events like the Olympic Games or World Cups in countries that are emerging – like in Russia or China,” he told the Mail.
“But Qatar – it’s not the country of football. I’m not against the idea of hosting a World Cup in a country where there is a possibility to develop and promote football, like in South Africa or the United States in the ’90s.
“In fact, now in the United States, the sport which has the most licensed people is football. But in Qatar, the truth is that there is no such potential. There is nothing. It’s only about money I think.
“It’s only about money and the way they treated the people who built the stadiums, it’s horrible. And thousands of people died. And yet we will celebrate this World Cup.
“Personally, I will not watch it. I understand football is a business. But I thought it was the only place where everybody could have a chance.
“And I still think that young players can grow up in a very poor area – most players come from poor areas. And they become footballers and have a chance to save themselves and save their family which is great. And if you are good, you are good. It’s a meritocracy – if you’re better than the next guy, you will play and it’s fair.
“So it’s why, maybe, if meritocracy and potential is the essence of football, it’s even more surprising that we can organise a World Cup in Qatar, and people actually voted for that,” Cantona concluded.
Meanwhile, the tournament is scheduled to take place from 21 November to 18 December.