the smoke screens

the smoke screens

The battle for the “giant screens” has begun. Many city councils, among the most important ones still run by the left (Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Bordeaux…) have decided to do without it and not organize fan zone. This somewhat opportunistic approach has in turn made it possible to close the ranks of “football alone” fans. Proof, after the controversy of the roast, of the immense capacity of our country to lose itself in false controversies rather than address the substance.


Paris’s decision not to install a giant screen for the World Cup in Qatar, depriving the capital of a potential popular communion around the Blues, provoked in return a series of vindictive comments and ruthless tweets. Pierre Rabadan, deputy in charge of sport, had justified this choice bluntly: “For us, it was not a question of enabling match broadcasting areas for several reasons: the first is the conditions to organize this World Cup, both in environmental and social terms. The second is temporality, the fact that it takes place in December. » The trolls, for their part, greedily took out all the photos that testify to Anne Hidalgo’s commitment to the emirate. If the city hasn’t sold PSG to QSI, it still reaps financial benefits on the margin, not to mention the Gulf countries’ investments in the City of Light. As always, the question of coherence is drawn by supporters of the dominant line, from the FFF to accredited journalists: “We have to go now. » Why “turn off” the image and sound for Qatar and not for Russia, for example? The Paris Olympics will also leave a carbon footprint…

In effect, these municipal microcommitments -oh so mediatic- question a political field, basically the so-called governmental left (PS or EELV). The opportunity to remind him that François Hollande had negotiated the sale of Rafales in Qatar in a context of diplomatic-sports flirtation during major events already organized by the emirate (men’s handball world championship in 2015). Finally, the cities in question have had years to position themselves, alert and mobilize their constituents on this issue. The only valid argument in the end turns out to be the cost, economic and ecological, of these outdoor devices, in this period of economic and energy crisis. When the temperature of the water in public pools drops, the urgency may not be to cheer on the brave who will brave the cold for France-Australia. I’m sure many small towns will do the same calculation if they want to keep their gyms open or light up the compound of the local AS.

this is not a boycott

But ultimately, the indignation and the reactions of indignation that this controversy arouses says a lot about the state of the debate around this World Cup. First of all, this is in no way a boycott. We can never say it enough, absolutely no one is boycotting this World Cup. Everybody goes there. Countries, federations, players and probably the fans en masse. Do without a giant screen or fan zone, half-empty or not, is in no way a totalitarian inclination of the anti-World. The choice of certain cities in no way deprives the inhabitants of access to the FIFA “spectacle”. The latter will get their ratings and television rights. The beautiful souls who detect in it an odious attack on the universalism of football should concentrate their efforts on the free retransmission of the matches. As always, denouncing the hypocrisy of the “adversary” remains the best distraction to avoid getting to the bottom of the problem.

The question, therefore, is not whether Mrs. Hidalgo or Mr. Pierre Hurmic (whose voices were outraged at his meddling when he mobilized his networks and public money to save the Girondins?) are buying a good conscience cheaply. Rather it would be a matter of knowing who, the citizens in front of their television, want to have fun if Didier Deschamps’s boys win this World Cup, there, while our government will do its little political and commercial affairs there.

By Nicholas Kssis-Martov

#smoke #screens

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *