‘Arrogant and racist’: Qatar foreign minister lashes out at European nations objecting to his country hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022



Qatar, which will host this year’s Football World Cup, has been under fire for its position on LGBTQ+ rights and use of “slave labour,” with voices raising from many Western countries such as Germany asking for a boycott of the upcoming event in the Arab country. Qatar’s Foreign Minister, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, has responded to the criticism by calling the opposing countries “arrogant” and “racists.”

Last month, Qatar had summoned the German ambassador over the concerns raised by his country over the alleged human rights violations in Qatar. Speaking to media, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani accused Germany of ‘double standards’. He also reminded the people that the European countries have no problem with Qatar when it comes to energy partnerships or investments.

“It is ironic when this tone is struck in countries in Europe that call themselves liberal democracies. It honestly sounds very arrogant and very racist,” the minister was quoted as saying to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

“It seems difficult for some to accept that a small country, a small Arab country, should be allowed to host the soccer World Cup. Racist clichés also keep cropping up. But that is not the case everywhere for a long time. There are fewer than ten countries from which such sharp criticism comes. The rest of the world is happy for us. 97 per cent of the tickets have already been sold. That is a clear sign.”

In an interview with Sky News, the minister further lashed out at the critics and pro-LGBTQ activists and human right watchers.

“Preaching from a distance is not a solution. Calling to boycott the World Cup or those who are not coming to the World Cup, it’s their decision at the end of the day, but why to deprive the people and the public of attending and enjoying the World Cup,” said Qatar’s foreign minister.

Meanwhile, according to a poll conducted, a large majority of people in Britain think the World Cup should not be held in Qatar because of its position on LGBTQ+ rights. According to the Guardian, 62% of British people believe Qatar’s stance on homosexual rights should have been enough to disqualify it from hosting the event.

Qatar won the right to host the summer World Cup in December 2010 against all odds in 50 degrees celsius temperature, before FIFA moved the World Cup to winter for the first time in history to protect players from that heat. The tournament will now be held from 21st November to 18th December in the small Arabian country.

LGBTQ+ rights aren’t the only problem with Qatar hosting the World Cup, there have been some concerns raised over the use of “slave labour” and poor working conditions in the Gulf state. Thousands have reportedly died while working on the infrastructure for the World Cup due to poor working conditions.

However, the football governing body FIFA, which has banned Russia for the Ukrainian invasion, has chosen to overlook all these human rights abuses. In a recent press statement, FIFA had asked participating teams to focus on the game and not to drag the game into issues of politics and ideology.



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