FIFA urged to criticize Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al-Baker for sexist comments

Akbar Al-Baker uttered the sexist comments while at an IATA Convention in Sydney, he later apologized.
Updated 09 June 2018
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FIFA urged to criticize Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al-Baker for sexist comments

  • Al-Baker said women could not lead an airline as the work was too challenging.
  • Foundation for Sports Integrity urges FIFA to reprimand one of its premium sponsors.

The Foundation for Sports Integrity (FFSI) has hit out at Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al-Baker for comments he made about women last week, and asked FIFA to reprimand one of its main sponsors.
At an IATA Convention in Sydney Al-Baker claimed that women could not lead an airline as the work was too challenging.
Jaimie Fuller, FFSI chief executive, said if FIFA did not publicly criticize Al-Baker it would be doing a huge disservice to the many millions of women who love football and will be glued to the TV watching the upcoming World Cup.
“Mr Al-Baker says raising (his backward views on women) is simply part of a campaign against them that was linked to criticism — and jealously — over Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup,” Fuller said.
“Who made the decision to go to Russia and Qatar? FIFA. So, the very least FIFA could do is show some leadership on this matter.
“What I would like to see — for once — is FIFA push back on it sponsor in this instance and say the attitude is unacceptable. It’s 2018, not 1918!
“If we all have to roll-up to Qatar in four years’ time to watch our national team in action, then FIFA has a responsibility to drag its sponsors — in this case Qatar Airways — kicking and screaming into the 21st century.”
Qatar Airways has been a premium sponsor of FIFA for more than a year.


Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

Updated 25 March 2019
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Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

  • Five-year old bidding to become first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups.
  • $12 million race takes place at Meydan on Saturday.

LONDON: Thunder Snow is preparing well as he bids to become the first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups, according to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The five-year-old memorably won the showcase $12 million race at Meydan by five and three-quarter lengths, winning in a track record time last year. He returned to the track on Super Saturday two weeks ago, finishing second in the Group 1 Al-Maktoum Challenge Round Three.
And Godolphin are expecting big things from him in the famous race. Bin Suroor, the most successful handler in the history of the 2000m dirt feature with eight winners to his name, is feeling confident.
“He did his final serious piece of work on Saturday and went very well indeed,” the Godolphin trainer said. “He needed his Super Saturday outing — his first run since November — badly and has come on a lot for it. We expect him to run a big race under conditions we know suit him, but obviously it is a good race.”
Thunder Snow has already made history as the only horse to win both the Group 2 UAE Derby and Group 1 Dubai World Cup, but if he is to win this Saturday then he will be revered for years to come.
One of his big rivals in the race will be Yoshida. Trained by Bill Mott he arrived in Dubai on March 19 in preparation for the cash-rich race. The Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry landed in the Emirate off a sixth-place finish in the inaugural Group 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
He won the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, as well as the prestigious Woodward at Saratoga last year and Riley Mott, assistant to his father Bob, said Yoshida is looking good ahead of the big race.
“He’s settled in really well,” he said. “He traveled great and we’re very happy with him. The facilities here are top class. This is my seventh time over here and we’re treated very well.”
Yoshida went out just after 7:00 a.m. in Monday to stretch his legs over the famous dirt track.
“He just had a routine gallop this morning and we let him stand in the gate. Nothing too serious,” Mott said.
Jose Ortiz, who has piloted Yoshida though his last two starts and was aboard for the Grade 1 score at Churchill Downs, will make his first appearance in Dubai. Mott said he expects Ortiz, who guided Yoshida to a closing fourth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, will have plenty of options in the 2000m race.
“It sounds like there’s a lot of pace from the local horses, but we have a horse that’s pretty versatile in the way he runs,” Mott said. “He’s able to adapt to the pace scenario. It’s just a matter of how the race develops in front of him.”