Football World Cup: Interview aborted: World Cup ambassador considers homosexuality to be "mental damage"

Qatari World Cup ambassador and former soccer player Khalid Salman has described homosexuality as "mental damage".

Football World Cup: Interview aborted: World Cup ambassador considers homosexuality to be "mental damage"

Qatari World Cup ambassador and former soccer player Khalid Salman has described homosexuality as "mental damage". The statement was made in an interview in the ZDF documentary "Geheimsache Qatar", which will be broadcast on Tuesday evening at 8:15 p.m. The excerpt with Salman's statements was already shown in the "heute-journal" on Monday evening.

"A lot of things will come into the country during the World Cup. Let's talk about gays," said Salman. "The most important thing is that everyone will accept that they come here. But they will have to accept our rules." Above all, he has problems when children see gays. Because they would then learn something that is not good. In his eyes, being gay is "haram" and forbidden, said Salman. "It's mental damage." The interview was immediately terminated by the spokesman for the World Cup Organizing Committee.

Qatar is considered one of the most controversial hosts in World Cup history. Among other things, the emirate is accused of human rights violations, bad treatment of foreign workers and a lack of women's rights. In the run-up to the World Cup, which begins on November 20th, the desert state is trying to convey a different picture. Officially, fans from the LGBTQ scene are also welcome.

In the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (Monday), Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani described the criticism of Qatar, especially from Europe, as "very arrogant and very racist". At the same time, he referred to reforms in his country that would continue after the World Cup.

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