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

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.


Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

Updated 25 February 2020

Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

  • The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected
  • Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe

ROME: Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected, but the minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban.
There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter.
Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe.
Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.
The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to thats.
“We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.”