“Le Quotidien de La Réunion” boycotts the competition in Qatar and assures that “Even if France is champion, we will not relay the sporting achievement”

“The decision was made in less than five minutes”says Tuesday, September 13 on franceinfo, Vincent Vibert, director of Reunion newspaper. The newspaper is the first title that takes the decision to boycott the FIFA World Cup organized in Qatar from November 28 to December 18, 2022. It is “the daily sports department which proposed to take a strong position which is in line with our values, of respect, especially as we are celebrating the 46th anniversary of the newspaper”and “even if France is world champion, we will not relay the sporting achievement”.

franceinfo: What prompted you to make this decision?

Vincent Vibert: This topic came from the daily sports department, which asked us how to deal with this information in relation to environmental issues, human rights and freedom of expression. He proposed to take a strong position which is in line with our values, of respect, especially as we are celebrating the 46th anniversary of the newspaper. The decision was made in less than five minutes. We said to ourselves: we are totally boycotting the event because today, for us, this event catalyses all the issues I have spoken to you about. And in 2022, it’s unacceptable and we decided to make this decision.

Why didn’t you boycott the Beijing Olympics for example because of the oppression against the Uyghurs?

It’s not the country that we boycott because in the world, what country would be perfect? The world has changed since the last Olympics, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, we can see that there is an acceleration of climate issues and this World Cup is catalyzing everything that is no longer acceptable in the world today.

“It is the way this event is organized that is not normal and that we wish to denounce.”

Vincent Vibert, director of the Daily Reunion

at franceinfo

I think it is the role of the media and the press to open up these debates and raise awareness. After the release of the newspaper this [mardi] morning there have been reactions on social networks and I can say that they are 95% positive. There is support and a favorable reception that a press title makes this decision.

Imagine that France finds itself in the final and wins the competition, there will not be a word in your newspaper?

There won’t be a word about the whole sporting event and we won’t have any advertising revenue related to the World Cup. We won’t accept it. We will not relay any subject on the sporting aspect, on the other hand, we will be able to relay the sides of the event. Even if France is world champion, we will not relay the sporting achievement. The press is going through complicated times, perhaps we will win readers who join our efforts. We will see if there is a real impact on sales, but at a certain point on moral and value issues, you have to dissociate things from the economic part.

How can everyone be better informed?

Take part in the consultation initiated as part of the European project De facto on the Make.org platform. Franceinfo is the partner