2022: Qatar deprived of a giant screen
Denouncing the ecological aberration of air-conditioned stadiums or the suspicions of corruption surrounding the designation of the host country, in the name of human rights and the thousands of immigrant workers who died during the construction of the stadiums, several French cities, Paris, Lille or Bordeaux, have decided not to broadcast on the big screen what the environmentalist mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet, describes as « World of Shame ». Personalities like ex-footballer Eric Cantona or actor Vincent Lindon have also announced that they will not watch the matches.
2018: all in Russia despite Crimea
Four years after the annexation of Crimea, denounced by the international community, Russia is organizing the World Cup, which the Kremlin wants to showcase for its country. Several nations are considering a diplomatic boycott of the competition. Only England and Iceland will carry out this threat. Poutine can boast in the locker room of the France team after the victory of the Blues in the final.
1978: in Argentina under the thumb of Videla
Two years after the establishment of a military dictatorship, Argentina is organizing the Mundial. In France, whose national team has qualified for the first time in twenty years in the final phase, several leftist organizations are calling for a boycott. Dominique Rocheteau is the only player who hesitates to go there. Argentina win against the Netherlands, and junta leader Jorge Videla presents the cup to the national team in the Monumental stadium, located less than a kilometer from the country’s largest torture center .
1966: England’s backward time
That year, the country that invented football organizes the World Cup. In a world that has just freed itself from colonialism, the International Federation has not grasped the new geopolitical situation. It has provided, among the sixteen teams gathered for the final phase, only one qualifying place for all the nations of Asia, Africa and Oceania. African countries therefore decide not to participate in the qualifying phases. At the next World Cup, in 1970, in Mexico, FIFA will grant a place to the African continent (against five today).
1934: Italy’s easy triumph
Before Adolf Hitler and the Berlin Olympics in 1936, Benito Mussolini was the first dictator who tried to exploit sport by hosting the second edition of the FIFA World Cup in Italy. The stated goal is to highlight the fascist ideal. The strongest nation of its time, England is automatically invited but boycotts the competition – not for political reasons, but out of pure disdain for an international cup invented by the French, of which it has not taken the measure . Italy wins, Mussolini triumphs.