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Qatar World Cup ambassador blasted for ‘unacceptable’ homosexuality comments

Qatar World Cup ambassador blasted for ‘unacceptable’ homosexuality comments

The World Cup in due to kick off in less than two weeks.

Khalid Salman, a Qatar World Cup ambassador has been criticised for his comments on homosexuality.

Salman, who is a former footballer made the remarks during an interview with German broadcaster ZDF.

When quizzed about the fact that homosexuality is illegal in his country, Salman said: “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.”

Salman is one of many ambassadors for the upcoming World Cup, other footballing legends including Cafu and Xavi are also ambassadors.

Organisers have described the role as “harnessing the power of football to create positive social change in Qatar, across the region and around the globe”.

However, they are now facing backlash yet again. Rasha Younes, who is a member of the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch condemned Salman’s comments.

She said: “Salman’s suggestion that same-sex attraction is ‘damage in the mind’ is harmful and unacceptable. The failure of the Qatari government to counter this false information has a significant impact on the lives of LGBT residents of Qatar, ranging from fuelling discrimination and violence against them to justifying subjecting them to state-sponsored conversion practices.”

Just last week, FIFA came into criticism after a letter written by the football governing body’s president, Giovanni Infantino was published.

It said: “Please, let's now focus on the football!

“We know football does not live in a vacuum and we are equally aware that there are many challenges and difficulties of a political nature all around the world.

“But please do not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.”

Nasser Al Khater, the Qatar World Cup’s chief executive reiterated last month that LGBTQ+ supporters are welcome but warned them of the country’s differing culture.

He said: “Everyone will feel safe in Qatar.

“We have always said that everyone is welcome here. What we ask for is respect for our culture.”

The World Cup will get underway on Sunday, November 20, with Qatar taking on Ecuador in the curtain raiser.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter

Topics: Football World Cup, Qatar, FIFA