Calls grow for boycott of Qatar World Cup amid human rights violation concerns

Calls for fans and countries to boycott the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar are growing and appearing in football stadiums across Europe amid concerns over human rights abuses in the Muslim nation.

“The closer the World Cup gets, the more intense the message becomes,” Stefan Schirmer, a member of the Boycott Qatar campaign, told Euronews this week.

Football fans in Germany unfurled a huge ‘Boycott Qatar 2022’ sign at a German Bundesliga league game last month and again last week in moves seen by millions on TV.

“It feels like the last two or three months the momentum is going up, it’s going up,” Schirmer added.

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Fans display a banner during a German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Oct.

Fans display a banner during a German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart in Dortmund, Germany, Oct.
(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Qatar has been criticized for its laws that criminalize homosexuality and its treatment of migrant workers and has been accused of bribe officials to obtain tournament host status.

A Qatari World Cup official has sparked controversy and the refusal of the German interior minister after he told a reporter that homosexuality is “a damage in the mind” and suggested that visitors to the World Cup world will have to “accept our rules”.

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Hertha supporters hold a protest banner against the World Cup in Qatar during a German Bundesliga soccer match between Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Bayern Munich in Berlin, Germany, November 5, 2022.

Hertha supporters hold a protest banner against the World Cup in Qatar during a German Bundesliga soccer match between Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Bayern Munich in Berlin, Germany, November 5, 2022.
(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

“Of course, such comments are terrible, and that is why we are working to improve things in Qatar,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in response to the comments.

Philipp Lahm, captain of Germany’s world-champion team in Brazil eight years ago, told German news agency dpa he would not take part in the tournament in Qatar.

“Human rights should play an important role in the awarding of tournaments,” Lahm said. “If a country that is doing badly in this area gets the award (for accommodation), then you have to think about the criteria on which the decision was based.”

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Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said criticism of his country reveals a “double standard”, adding that Qatar had faced a systematic campaign against him over the past 12 years. which followed his selection to host the World Cup which he said no other country had faced.

Tim Sparv, former captain of the Finnish national team, told EuroNews he thought FIFA was “shaken” by the attention the boycott calls had received while quoting a letter the FIFA organizing body World Cup sent to participating countries this spring, urging them to focus on sport rather than politics.

The mark is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center where the FIFA World Cup draw will take place in Doha, Qatar

The mark is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center where the FIFA World Cup draw will take place in Doha, Qatar
(AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

“Reading that letter, it seemed really arrogant in the first place,” Sparv said. “You feel like they’re a little shaken up and they don’t like what’s going on – people are taking a stand and people are talking.”

FIFA did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Reuters reported last month that ticket sales for football’s biggest sporting event were approaching 3 million.

The top 10 buying countries of the 2.89 million tickets sold at the time were Qatar, United States, Saudi Arabia, England, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, Brazil and Germany,” said Colin Smith, FIFA World Cup Chief Executive. during a press conference in Doha.

The White House announced last month that it send a delegation to the event despite outcry over Qatar’s treatment of the gay community and migrant workers.

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“It’s an important event, and we’re going to cheer for the team, the American team. It’s not an unusual thing for us to do when there’s an event like this,” Karine-Jean said. Pierre, White House press secretary. .

Reuters contributed to this report

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