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Leon Goretzka publicly speaks out after Qatar World Cup ambassador says homosexuality is 'damage in the mind'

Daniel Marland

| Last updated 

Leon Goretzka publicly speaks out after Qatar World Cup ambassador says homosexuality is 'damage in the mind'

Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Leon Goretzka is the first player to condemn comments from a Qatar World Cup ambassador about homosexuality.

Khalid Salman recently claimed homosexuality was 'damage in the mind' during an interview with German broadcaster ZDF.

The former Qatar international went on to tell supporters travelling to the country they must 'accept' their rules.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and Islamic Sharia law considers it immoral, which has seen many criticise the decision to award the country the World Cup.


During Bayern's 6-1 home win against Werder Bremen on Tuesday evening, the Allianz Arena faithful unveiled a banner in protest against Salman's comments.

It read: "Damaged mind? F**k you Khalid and co."

Goretzka, who scored Bayern's third of the game, expressed his frustration to reporters post-match.

The 27-year-old said: "It's very oppressive. This is an image of a man that comes from another millennium.

"It leaves you speechless that something like this can be said by a World Cup ambassador shortly before a World Cup."

Goretzka back in September. (Image Credit: Alamy)
Goretzka back in September. (Image Credit: Alamy)

Goretzka is one of the best midfielders in the world and expected to be included in Hansi Flick's squad for the tournament.

Germany are in Group E at the competition alongside Japan, Spain and Costa Rica.

They kick off their campaign against Japan on November 23 before facing Spain on November 27. They finish the group stages against Japan on December 1.

Salman stressed he is not a strict Muslim but called homosexuality 'haram' earlier this week.

He declared: "They have to accept our rules here. [Homosexuality] is haram. You know what haram means?

"I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind."

FIFA president Giovanni Infantino asked for spectators to 'focus on the football' in a recent public letter.

He asked for football to be left out of every 'political and ideological battles'.

The World Cup starts on November 20 when Qatar face Ecuador.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Germany, Bayern Munich

Daniel Marland
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