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FIFA WC 2022: Here's why Germany coach is reluctant to fly to Qatar

Qatar has not imposed a blanket ban on LGBTQ couples who are coming to watch the tournament but only wants visitors to respect its culture. Read More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:29 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Gay FIFA World Cup Qatar

Munich: Germany coach Hansi Flick has said he will seek advice from his predecessor Joachim Loew ahead of the World Cup in Qatar which according to him won't be a tournament for the average fan.

"I have many acquaintences who would like to fly to Qatar but won't do so for multiple reasons," Flick told the RND publishing house, reports DPA.

"Because they can't afford the steep prices, because the situation for instance for homosexuals is not acceptable, because there are human rights violations, because minorities are excluded."

"It is a pity that this tournament won't be a World Cup for the fans. Football should be there for everyone. Therefore I say: This won't be a World Cup for the average fan."


The Qatar tournament runs November 20 to December 18. The host nation has been criticised for years in connection with "human rights violations". Progress has been made but rights groups say that more needs to be done.

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The tournament is the first big event for Flick, who was Loew's assistant from 2006 to the 2014 World Cup triumph and then succeeded him last year.

Flick said he would meet Loew before the event where Germany play Japan, Spain and Costa Rica in the group stage even though he knows "what is important" in the planning stage from his time as assistant.

"It can only be an advantage that I sit down with Jogi again and have an exchange over his impressions and experiences. About what can happen in such a tournament and how he experienced it from the head coach's perspective," Flick said.

No blanket ban on LGBTQ couples

Qatar has not imposed a blanket ban on LGBTQ couples who are coming to watch the tournament but only wants visitors to respect its culture.

But, Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari director of the Department of International Cooperation and chairman of the National Counterterrorism Committee at the Ministry of Interior, said that the state is against the overt promotion of LGBTQ freedoms.

“You want to demonstrate your view about the (LGBTQ) situation, demonstrate it in a society where it will be accepted,” he said, adding:

“Watch the game. That’s good. But don’t really come in and insult the whole society because of this.”

The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has also said that gay fans will be welcome at the 2022 World Cup, but demanded that visitors should “respect our culture”. Speaking at a news conference in Berlin following the signing of an energy partnership between Germany and Qatar, al-Thani said:

“Everybody is welcome in Doha. We do not stop anyone from coming to Doha with any different backgrounds, or any different beliefs. Qatar is a very welcoming country. We have millions of people that come and visit our country and the World Cup is a great opportunity for people from different parts of the world to come and experience our culture."

“We will not stop anybody from coming and enjoying the football. But I also want everybody to come and understand and enjoy our culture. We welcome everybody, but also we expect and we want people to respect our culture,” he said.


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