The Qatari ambassador to Germany received on Monday a call for the country to abolish the death penalty for homosexuality while taking part in a human rights conference organized by the German soccer federation just two months before the Middle Eastern country hosts the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Dario Minden, representative of a group of fans, addressed the Qatari ambassador in EnglishAbdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, at the congress in Frankfurt.
“I am a man and I like menMinden said. “I like them — don’t be surprised — I have relationships with other men. This is normal. So the best thing is to accept it, or walk away from football. Because the most important rule in football is that football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. for everyone in between”.
Minden continued. “Must abolish the death penalty. Abolish all punishments that refer to sexual and gender identity. The rule that football is it is very important for everyone. We can’t allow that you break it, no matter how rich it is. You are welcome to join the international football community and, of course, host a big tournament. But that’s the way things are in sports. You have to accept the rules”.
Al Thani was able to respond later, but his comments were not released. Just the first 90 minutes of the congress of the federation were open to the public and the press was not invited.
The federation’s spokesman, Steffen Simon, said that the organization did not make the decision to keep most of the congress in reservebut “we got a clear message from some participants that they wanted to talk about these matters internally with us. They don’t want to talk about it in public. We respect that.”
Qatari laws have been challenged during the last decade before the World Cup.
Police Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, the leader in charge of World Cup security, previously told The Associated Press that rainbow flags would be prohibited in the stands of tournament matches in order to protect fans from attacks for promoting the rights of the LGBT community
Al Ansari insisted that LGBT couples will be welcomed and accepted in Qatar for the World Cupwhich takes place from November 20 to December 18, despite the fact that relationships between people of the same sex are still considered a crime in the conservative Persian Gulf nation.
Prior to the Minden pronouncement, Al Thani She complained before the congress that human rights issue draws attention away from tournament.
“We all care about the human rights situation. But I would enjoy it more if I saw that we do not focus on a single topicalso how football is enjoyed and the effect football has on the world populationAl Thani said.
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