US congress votes to allow US taxpayers to support the 2022 World Cup

Paris joins big screen boycott of World Cup games from Qatar and says US is at least partly to blame

Tensions run through the Westgate, the World Cup stadium that is set to host the 2022 World Cup: the West End at Battersea. Photograph: Will Grant

Petr Janata, the director of the United States embassy in Qatar, has joined a growing number of Americans who have joined a boycott of the 2022 World Cup, in protest at the awarding of the tournament to the tiny country, with no democratic processes and no referendum. Most of the players and staff at the 2022 World Cup have been recruited by World Cup organisers and many of them are from the United States.

On Saturday, the US congress voted overwhelmingly for an amendment, which would require any money raised in the US for the tournament to be spent on infrastructure projects benefiting the US.

The bill makes clear it is the US who has the last word when it comes to how the American taxpayer should support the event, which has been branded “meddling” and “disgusting” by the British and Australian ambassadors. All the money raised in the sponsorship of the tournament will be held in trust, without any involvement of the sponsors, and will be spent on US infrastructure projects. The US congress has also added pressure on Fifa, the organisation that runs the tournament, to improve press ethics and to reduce corporate sponsorship, which has come under particular attack.

“Fifa has a lot of work to do in terms of its culture, and in terms of its transparency and accountability,” said Congressman Tom Price, chairman of the House of Representatives’ subcommittee on Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. “We’re not going to stand by and allow this to go on and on as far as the World Cup is concerned.”

As the US boycott is growing, the French government has also joined the growing campaign to boycott the World Cup from Brazil, at a time of uncertainty surrounding the

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