Ex-national player Thomas Hitzlsperger criticizes Qatar World Cup: ‘Just wrong’

Former national player Thomas Hitzlsperger was critical of the World Cup in Qatar. And also sent a call for the future.

DFB ambassador Thomas Hitzlsperger has strongly condemned the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, partly against the background of his own homosexuality. “If I travel to a country where it is not entirely clear whether I will receive a prison sentence or even the death penalty, then that is simply wrong,” the former international said in the DFB Foundations podcast “More than a game”.

Qatar has been heavily criticized for ignoring human rights, and homosexuality is banned there. “We also agree that in the future it will no longer be the case that a major event is awarded to a country where such human rights prevail. The improvement should be that FIFA applies and implements different criteria,” said Hitzlsperger.

“Don’t know if I’ll be there yet”

The 40-year-old does not yet know whether he will go to Qatar himself: “I will probably comment on the World Cup as an expert, that is the idea. I don’t know if I will be there, but I suggest you comment on it In what form, in what dimensions, I cannot say exactly today.”

Qatar had recently emphasized that same-sex couples would remain untouched during the tournament. FIFA has already announced that rainbow flags would be allowed around stadiums.

However, Hitzlsperger is critical of calls for a World Cup boycott. “Everyone is free to say, ‘I’m giving it up!’ However, I don’t know if it will help you. Maybe there are good reasons to go there anyway and do things before or during the tournament that improve the situation of the people there.”

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