PARIS (AP) — The city of Paris has decided against broadcasting World Cup matches on giant screens in public fan zones amid concerns over rights violations of migrant workers and the environmental impact of the tournament in Qatar.
It follows similar moves by other French cities.
“There is the problem of the environmental impact,” Pierre Rabadan, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of sports, told France Bleu Paris radio on Tuesday, citing “air-conditioned stadiums.”
“The conditions in which these facilities have been built are to be questioned as well,” he added.
The move comes despite the city’s football club, Paris Saint-Germain, being owned by Qatar Sports Investments.
“We have very constructive relations with the club and its entourage yet it doesn’t prevent us to say when we disagree,” Rabadan said.
A growing number of French cities are refusing to erect screens to broadcast World Cup matches to protest Qatar’s human rights record.
The gas-rich emirate has been fiercely criticized in the past decade for its treatment of migrant workers mostly from south Asia needed to build tens of billions of dollars’ worth of stadiums, metro lines, roads and hotels.
Environmental activists across France have also supported the cancelation of public broadcasting in fan zones because the outdoor viewing of the Nov. 20-Dec. 19 tournament would use energy that the country has been storing for winter.
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