Qatar defends itself from criticism in Germany and remembers the 2018 World Cup in Russia

“Four years ago, the World Cup was in a country that had taken Crimea and there was no attention from the countries of Europe”

FRANKFURT (GERMANY), 19 Sep. (dpa/EP) –

Qatar’s ambassador to Germany, Abdullah Mohamed al Thani, called on Monday for fair treatment for his country as host of the 2022 World Cup, drawing a comparison with Russia, which hosted the tournament in 2018.

“If we go back four years, the World Cup was in a country that had taken Crimea, it had people in prison, oppressed people, and there was no attention from Germany or any other country in Europe,” al Thani said.

The intervention took place at the congress of the German Football Association (DFB) ‘Sport and human rights: measures before, during and after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, held this Monday in Frankfurt.

The Qatari ambassador explained that his country has been on the front page for 12 years and has initiated many changes. The situation in Qatar “is not perfect yet,” he admitted, adding that change takes time. “It’s not 100 percent, it’s a journey,” he said.

In addition, he argued that also in Germany, for example, the issue of equal rights between men and women had been going on for many years. Al Thani demanded that the Germans who had been in Qatar – such as Bayern Munich, in their traditional winter concentrations – report their positive experiences. “Say it publicly or keep your mouth shut,” he warned.

The president of the DFB, Bernd Neuendorf, announced at the congress that, shortly before the start of the World Cup, he would again call for the improvement of the human rights situation in the host country during a joint trip with the Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser .

Neuendorf, like the representatives of human rights organizations and trade unions, indicated that progress is visible, but pointed out that there are two issues that need concrete implementation.

He called for the creation of “job centers” to which workers can go in case of infraction by employers and a fund for workers who died or were injured during the construction of the World Cup stadiums. Neuendorf made it clear that FIFA also has a responsibility in this regard.

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