Fifa and its President Gianni Infantino have sold the World Cup in Qatar as climate-neutral.
Fabian Eberhardchief research
Red card for Fifa: Environmentalists accuse world football’s governing body of misleading advertising about the climate neutrality of the World Cup – and have lodged a complaint with the Swiss Integrity Commission.
Did Fifa cheat and market the tournament in Qatar as more environmentally friendly than it was? The Fairness Commission is now clarifying this. “We can confirm that a corresponding procedure is pending with us,” says the legal secretary Reto Inglin. He is not allowed to divulge any details at the moment because the investigations are ongoing.
Climate Alliance Switzerland is behind the complaint. Your accusation against Fifa: “Climate greenwashing”. PR methods that fool the public with an environmentally friendly image without having a sufficient basis for doing so.
Air-conditioned stadiums, thousands of flights
Fifa advertises the World Cup on its website as the first “completely climate-neutral tournament”. Ironically, that mega-event for which huge, air-conditioned stadiums were built in the desert. And for which tens of thousands of people have jetted halfway around the world.
Research by various media, climate researchers and environmentalists in recent months have come to the conclusion that Fifa’s climate claims are false. The football association counted the tournament green.
For example, FIFA has the true CO2-Balance sheet obfuscated with certificates backed by the Qatari state. The information would be based on questionable accounting of the emissions and compensation programs of dubious quality. Fifa has repeatedly denied these allegations. She did not answer questions from SonntagsBlick.
The Swiss Integrity Commission is an independent self-regulatory foundation in the communications industry. It has clear principles for environmental statements in advertising. Christian Lüthi, Managing Director of Climate Alliance: “We would like Fifa to invest its resources in avoiding emissions instead of in greenwashing.” As a first step, it should correctly communicate the impact of its activities on the climate. “We are confident that the Commission will condemn Fifa’s violations of fair advertising and thus send a clear signal to world football’s governing body.”
The judgments of the fairness commission are not legally enforceable. However, those who are reprimanded usually implement the recommendations voluntarily.
Fifa is also under pressure in other countries due to its controversial climate promises. A few weeks ago, the German consumer advice center warned the world football association about “greenwashing” and demanded that “misleading” advertising statements be deleted. “Fifa is trying to sell a major event in the desert as a showcase climate project. It is about the deliberate deception of football fans and the public, »said Ramona Pop, head of the Federal Consumer Association. The warning went to the headquarters of Fifa – in Switzerland, on the Zürichberg.