German Interior Minister Nancy Weiser, who is also responsible for sports affairs, strongly criticized on Tuesday the statements of one of Qatar’s ambassadors to the 2022 World Cup, in which he described homosexuality as a “disorder of the mind.”
“Statements like this are outrageous,” Weisser said at a news conference.
Khaled Salman, a former Qatari international football player and one of the ambassadors for the 2022 World Cup, described homosexuality as a “disorder of the mind” in an interview with the German public broadcaster ZDF.
“During the World Cup, a lot of things will happen in the country. Let’s talk about gays,” he said.
“The most important thing is that everyone will come here, but they have to accept our rules,” he added in an excerpt from the interview, which will be broadcast in full on ZDF on Tuesday evening.
He added that homosexuality is “haram, because it is a disorder of the mind” before he was boycotted.
But Weisser stressed that she still trusts the security guarantees for all fans, including LGBT people, that she received from Qatar’s Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani during her recent visit to Doha.
“It was the prime minister who gave it to me, I have no new indications from him that something has changed in this context,” she said.
Last week, Weisser confirmed to Qatar that it would attend Germany’s first match in the 2022 World Cup against Japan on November 23.
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, confirmed on September 21 that his country would welcome “without discrimination” all fans in the FIFA World Cup, which Qatar will host from November 20 to December 18, in an apparent desire to reassure gay and transgender arrivals.
Qatari law criminalizes homosexuality, but organizers stressed that “everyone is welcome” during the World Cup.
FIFA reiterates that the rainbow flags, which symbolize LGBT people, will be allowed in stadiums, but the Qatari authorities are calling for caution outside.
The leaders of several European teams, including England, France and Germany, will wear colored stripes with the message “OneLove” as part of an anti-discrimination campaign.