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Wednesday, August 10, 2022 – Bayern Munich and Germany legend, Philipp Lahm has threatened to boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar over human rights.
FIFA has faced widespread criticism for awarding the tournament to the tiny Gulf nation, which has a population over just over two million people despite human rights concerns.
Lahm, who lifted the trophy for Germany at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has insisted that human rights should be the most important factor to consider before a country is awarded football’s most prestigious tournament.
He has told German publication, Kicker: ‘I’m not part of the delegation and I’m not keen on flying there as a fan,’ the ex-Bayern Munich full-back told Kicker in his homeland. ‘I prefer to follow the tournament from home.
‘Human rights should play the biggest role in the awarding of a tournament. If a country is awarded the contract that is one of the worst performers in this regard, you start to think about the criteria used to make the decision.
‘That shouldn’t happen again in the future. Human rights, sustainability, the size of the country, none of that seems to have played a role.’
The country’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers have also been widely criticised since the country was named as host back in 2010.
It was reported by the Guardian in 2021, that 6,500 migrant workers have died during Qatar’s World Cup preparations due to unsafe working conditions since they were awarded the tournament.
According to Amnesty International, Qatari “authorities continue to curtail freedom of expression using abusive laws to stifle critical voices,” while women and the LGBTQ+ community are also oppressed.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino insisted in November that ‘all are welcome’ in the Gulf state and urged LGBTQ fans to attend and ‘engage and speak and convince’ in a bid to influence their state policies.
It was reported in May though that hotels in Qatar refused to admit same-sex couples.
According to NRK, SVT in Sweden and DR in Denmark, three hotels refused to accept the reservation, with one suggesting it would be against hotel policy to do so.