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.
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.