Not watching the World Cup has been “heartbreaking”, journalist Ian O’Doherty has said.
The World Cup final between France and Argentina will be held on Sunday but many football fans will not be watching because of the host nation’s human rights record.
It is illegal to be gay in Qatar, women lack basic rights and thousands of migrant workers died while building World Cup stadiums.
Mr O’Doherty labelled the Gulf State a “disgraceful slave nation” and said FIFA “gave the World Cup to the Middle Ages when they gave it to Qatar.”
Usually a big football fan, he loves the World Cup but has so far managed to stick to his pledge not to watch a single match.
“Honestly, it breaks my heart,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.
“Because I love the World Cup so much and I love football so much but I hold my principles more dearly.
“I don’t judge anyone else who is watching it; everybody makes their own choice but this has been my choice.”
Under normal circumstances, he would be in a state of anticipation ahead of Sunday’s match but this year he is reluctantly sticking to his principles.
“I’d love to see Nessi pick up the trophy but I won’t watch it; I can’t,” he said.
Earlier in the tournament, Newstalk Breakfast also interviewed the Chair of Irish Muslim Council who claimed that negative perceptions of Qatar were not grounded in reality.
Dr Umar Al-Qadri went to see the Netherlands play a match and said “my experience in Qatar was really nice.”
He also suggested more Irish people should go and visit the country.
“I would really say to people, if you can, do travel and do go to these countries,” he said.
“Because once you go there, you’ll understand that the perception we have about these countries is mostly untrue.”
Main image: Trophy of the FIFA World Cup against the background of the Al Janoub stadium in Qatar. Picture by: Alamy.com