Qatar World Cup ambassador attracts fierce criticism over his comments on homosexuality


An ambassador for the World Cup in Qatar has attracted fierce criticism after he described homosexuality as a “damage in the mind” during his interview with German public broadcaster ZDF. The development comes only two weeks before the FIFA world cup begins in the Gulf state, further highlighting the constant concerns being raised about the conservative nation’s treatment of people of LGBTQ+ community.

Former Qatari national team player Khalid Salman said during an interview to a German reporter that being gay is “haram,” or forbidden in Arabic. He also said that he has an issue with children seeing gay people.

Germany’s interior minister has condemned Salman’s remarks. “Of course such comments are terrible, and that is the reason why we are working on things in Qatar hopefully improving,” Nancy Faeser said.

In the interview, Salman also said that “homosexuality is a spiritual harm.” In the interview, Salman said in English, “During the World Cup, many things will come here to the country. Let’s talk about gays.” He added, “The most important thing is, everybody will accept that they come here. But they will have to accept our rules.” Faeser, who is also responsible for sports in Germany, said that when she visited Qatar a week ago, the country’s prime minister had given her a “safety guarantee for fans no matter where they come from, whom they love and what they believe in.”

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US State Department spokesperson Ned Price has called the remarks by the official in Qatar a “great concern.” Price said, “We have a relationship with Qatar that allows us to discuss our areas of mutual interest, but it also allows us to discuss what is important with the United States and values of tolerance, diversity, of respecting all people regardless of who they are or whom they love. I suspect we’ll be addressing that directly.”

“FIFA is confident that all necessary measures will be in place for LGBTIQ+ fans and allies to enjoy the tournament in a welcoming and safe environment, just as for everyone else,” FIFA spokesperson has explained in an email to Reuters. “Qatar as a host country is fully committed to ensuring that everyone will be able to enjoy the tournament in a safe and welcoming environment, including members of the LGBTIQ+ community.”




Alaina is a young writer passionate about sharing her work with the world. She has a strong interest in new writing styles and is always trying to find ways to be more creative.

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