icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
8 Nov, 2022 18:47

World Cup ambassador slammed for ‘anti-gay’ comments

Khalid Salman said that being gay was a “damage in the mind”
World Cup ambassador slammed for ‘anti-gay’ comments

Khalid Salman, a former Qatar international footballer and current ambassador for the Gulf state’s hosting of the upcoming World Cup, has come under fire for comments made in an interview with German television in which he suggested that homosexuality is a “damage in the mind.”

The tournament, which is due to kick off on November 20, has been hit with a torrent of criticism owing to reports of the continued mistreatment of migrant workers who helped build the stadium infrastructure to support the event, as well as the state’s stance on LGBT+ issues in the deeply conservative country, where homosexuality remains illegal.

Qatar’s ability to host the tournament, which is due to attract more than one million visitors from across the globe, has been questioned amid concerns of how LGBT+ individuals will be treated, given that human rights watchdogs have stated that the country’s laws have formalized discrimination.

But speaking to broadcaster ZDF in an interview due to be aired on Tuesday, Khalid Salman suggested that any visitors, homosexual or otherwise, will have to follow the laws of the land once they arrive in Qatar.

They have to accept our rules here,” Salman said. “[Homosexuality] is haram. You know what haram (forbidden) means?

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

Per reports, the interview was stopped at this point by an official who had accompanied him.

Salman’s comments come in contrast to the official stance of Qatari organizers who say that everyone from all walks of life would be welcomed to the country ahead of the event – though these statements have done little to ease concerns from numerous high-profile figures.

Rasha Younes, who oversees LGBT rights on behalf of the watchdog Human Rights Watch, said that Salman’s comments are “harmful and unacceptable.”

Salman’s suggestion that same-sex attraction is ‘damage in the mind’ is harmful and unacceptable,” she said.

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.”

Several prominent footballers have vowed to express their support for the LGBT+ community throughout the tournament, with England captain Harry Kane confirming that he will wear a rainbow-colored captain’s armband as a gesture of solidarity.

Hummel, the kit manufacturer of the Danish national team, meanwhile, recently revealed what they referred to as a “toned down” Denmark jersey to be used at the World Cup – stating that they do not wish to have their logo associated with the event.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has also recently said that the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar was a “mistake.”

Podcasts
0:00
27:37
0:00
26:12