Philipp Lahm, a Bayern Munich and Germany legend, has criticized Qatar’s selection to host the 2022 World Cup and has stated that he will not attend the tournament.
Despite human rights concerns, FIFA controversially returned the tournament to the Gulf state in 2010, and the opening match is now just over three months away.
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Lahm, who won the World Cup for Germany in 2014, has said that human rights should be the most important factor to consider before a country is awarded football’s most prestigious tournament. He told the German magazine Kicker:
I’m not part of the delegation and I’m not keen on flying there as a fan. I prefer to follow the tournament from home. Human rights should play the biggest role in the awarding of a tournament.
If a country is awarded the contract that is one of the worst performers in this regard, you start to think about the criteria used to make the decision. That shouldn’t happen again in the future. Human rights, sustainability, the size of the country, none of that seems to have played a role.
In Qatar, homosexuality is prohibited, and same-sex partnerships can result in criminal charges and a seven-year prison term.
Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, stressed that “all are welcome” in the Gulf state in November and asked LGBTQ supporters to attend and “engage, speak, and convince” in an effort to change the state’s policy.