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Monday March 04, 2024

Qatar summons German ambassador over minister's World Cup comments

Qatar's foreign ministry hands the ambassador an "objection memo"

By AFP & Web Desk
October 29, 2022
Supporters display a banner reading ´Boycott Qatar 2022´ prior to the start of the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between SC Freiburg and Olympiacos FC in Freiburg im Breisgau, southwestern Germany on October 27, 2022, and ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 to be played in Qatar.— AFP
Supporters display a banner reading ´Boycott Qatar 2022´ prior to the start of the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between SC Freiburg and Olympiacos FC in Freiburg im Breisgau, southwestern Germany on October 27, 2022, and ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 to be played in Qatar.— AFP

DOHA: Qatar on Friday summoned Germany's ambassador to object to comments made by the interior minister questioning if the Gulf state should be hosting the World Cup, the foreign ministry said.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also criticised Qatar's human rights record in a television interview Thursday, ahead of the football tournament that starts on November 20.

Qatar's foreign ministry handed the ambassador an "objection memo", an official statement said.

The letter expressed Doha's "disappointment and complete rejection and condemnation of remarks" by Faeser concerning Qatar's "hosting of the World Cup".

The ministry "demanded a clarification for these remarks".

Faeser was scheduled to visit Qatar on Monday.

In an interview with the ARD network aired Thursday, Faeser said that for the German government, Qatar's hosting of the tournament was "very tricky."

She added: "There are criteria that must be adhered to and it would be better that tournaments are not awarded to such states."

The country has faced widespread criticism over its alleged treatment of migrant workers, as well as rights for women and the LGBTQ community.

This is the first time a foreign ambassador has been summoned about such comments.

Faeser, in a statement released ahead of her visit with the head of the German football federation, said that the issue of rights would be raised in talks.

"No World Cup takes place in a vacuum. Human rights always apply everywhere — and now the whole world is paying special attention," Faeser said.