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England Manager Gareth Southgate Warned To 'Pick His Words Carefully' By Qatar World Cup Chief

Rory O'Callaghan

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England Manager Gareth Southgate Warned To 'Pick His Words Carefully' By Qatar World Cup Chief

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Gareth Southgate has been warned to “pick his words carefully” by Qatar 2022 chief executive Nasser Al Khater after the England manager voiced his concerns over the Gulf nation's suitability to host the World Cup.

Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers have been criticised since the country was awarded the right to host the tournament, which begins in November.

According to The Guardian, more than 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it was announced as the host nation 12 years ago, with 37 deaths directly linked to the construction of stadiums for the tournament.

Southgate travelled to Qatar this week for Friday's World Cup draw (Image: PA)
Southgate travelled to Qatar this week for Friday's World Cup draw (Image: PA)

Male homosexuality is punishable by a prison sentence in Qatar, while same-sex marriages are not recognised by the government. Women’s rights are also restricted due to male guardianship laws in the country.

Southgate has previously said it is a “great shame” that some England supporters will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup and has said that no one in his squad is “complacent” about the issues surrounding the tournament. 

During the current international break, Southgate held a meeting with the England squad to discuss how they should express their concerns over human rights in Qatar, although he has seemingly ruled out a boycott of the tournament – questioning what it would achieve.

Al Khater has questioned on the opinions of Southgate and hopes to discuss them face-to-face with the England manager, who has travelled to Qatar this week for the World Cup draw on Friday.

"My question would be who from the England squad has been to Qatar? My question to the coach is has he been to Qatar?" Al Khater told Sky Sports News.

"Is he basing his opinions and his public statements on what he has read? Because it is kind of an issue when you just base an opinion on which you are very vocal about on things which you have read.

"Somebody with a lot of influence such as Southgate, somebody with a big audience that listens to what he has said has got to pick his words carefully.

"I think before making statements like that when it comes to the workers, he needs to come here, speak to workers, understand what workers get out of being here. There are isolated cases, these are the cases which make it to the media.

"However, I can assure him that if he comes here, speaks to the majority of workers, they will tell you how they have put their children through University, they will tell you how they built their houses for them and their families. These are the stories that nobody hears.

"So I look forward to welcoming him here, I look forward to meeting him at the draw. He can listen to my opinion. He doesn't have to believe it, but at least he needs to go that far to understand different opinions, to understand different cultures.

"I am extending him my deepest respect. I respect him as a coach, as a human being. I don't have any issues with people's opinions. Obviously when someone has a different opinion, you will give them your side of the story.

"We can agree to disagree, but that's fine."

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Topics: England, Gareth Southgate, Football World Cup, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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