Selin Offers Insights on French World Cup Boycotts

FIFA World Cup organizers want fans to concentrate on the sporting action during soccer’s marquee event—but many feel host nation Qatar’s human rights record has tainted the competition. Photo of Al Thumama stadium in Doha, Qatar. (Source: Hector Vivas/FIFA/Getty Images)

Henrik SelinAssociate Professor of International Relations and Associate Dean for Studies at BU’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, was quoted in a Washington Post article in which he discussed French boycotts of the 2022 World Cup and their changing tone. 

The article, titled “Many French vowed to boycott the World Cup. Then their team did too well,” explores how previous moral predicaments among French soccer fans over World Cup host country Qatar’s human rights troubling record are evaporating as the national team performs well in the tournament. French President Emmanuel Macron recently visited the World Cup in Qatar, a move seen by some as justification to shrug off any moral quandaries over the tournament.

According to Selin, the boycotts that have arisen across cities in France seem to be “more about domestic politics than international relations. He added that he doesn’t believe these boycotts actually help to improve the human rights record in Qatar or any other country.

The full article can be read on The Washington Post‘s website.

Henrik Selin has been at Boston University since 2004. His research and teaching focus on global and regional politics and policymaking on the environment and sustainable development. He is the author of Mercury Stories: Understanding Sustainability through a Volatile ElementEuropean Union Environmental Governance, and Global Governance of Hazardous Chemicals: Challenges of Multilevel ManagementHe is also the author and co-author of more than four dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He also serves as Editor for the journal Global Environmental Politics. Learn more about Professor Selin on his faculty profile.