2022 World Cup: Tensions Deepen After Qatar World Cup Ambassador Khalid Salman Condemns Homosexuality

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Tensions have deepened ahead of the 2022 Qatar World Cup after Qatari World Cup Ambassador, Khalid Salman, condemned homosexuality.

2022 Qatar World Cup: Tensions Deepen After Qatar World Cup Ambassador Khalid Salman Condemns Homosexuality
Khalid Salman says homosexuality is a result of ‘damages in the mind’

The 2022 World Cup may not turn out rosy as other editions, with its usual glamor, exhibitions, well-packed stadia, and hysterical fans jeering at the brilliant displays and skills of their favorite stars.

This follows the building and unsubdued tensions threatening to swallow up the tournament while national teams gear up preparations, with some countries already announcing their World Cup squads.

The flash point of conflict is centered on both real and imagined fears of how Qatar will treat visiting fans of the LGBT+ communities.

Some FAs had to assure their fans of their security and safety before they could convince them to travel to Qatar to cheer their respective national teams to success.

2022 Qatar World Cup: Tensions Deepen After Qatar World Cup Ambassador Khalid Salman Condemns Homosexuality
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Qatar has a history of discriminatory laws and statutes to chisel, scold and rebuke sexual minorities of the LGBT+ communities.

Generally, they have been subjected to widespread criticisms for gross violations and abuse of human rights, including discrimination against migrant workers, mainly of African and Asia descent.

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Now, the projection is that a one-month tournament may not cause a drastic shift in Qatari’s moral bent, and the fear is that visiting fans of the LGBT+ communities may suffer a similar fate heading to the tournament.

If the world had toyed with calls for Qatar to bend ahead of the tournament, then the recent comments of a Qatari World Cup ambassador is the red flag.

2022 Qatar World Cup: Tensions Deepen After Qatar World Cup Ambassador Khalid Salman Condemns Homosexuality
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Succinctly put, Khalid Salman, an ex-Qatar international footballer has asserted that homosexuality is ‘damage in the mind.’

Salman made the statement in an interview with a German broadcaster, prompting the interview to be cut short immediately.

Speaking with German television broadcaster ZDF, Khalid Salman shared the perspective of an average Qatari, including state actors.

The statement comes when the little Muslim country is preparing to host the world in less than two weeks from now.

This has heightened tensions ahead of the tournament, further aggravating an already volatile situation.

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More than a million visitors are expected ahead of the tournament and some footballlers have voiced their concerns over how Qatar will handle the rights of fans travelling to the event.

Also of great concern is the place of LGBT+ individuals and women, whom they say may be stigmatized and pounded by the Qatari law.

Salman did not mince words as he stated clearly that intending World Cup visitors must adhere strictly to laid down rules during the tournament.

‘They have to accept our rules here,’ Salman said, in an excerpt of the interview.

‘(Homosexuality) is haram. You know what haram (forbidden) means?’ he asked.

When asked why it was haram, Salman said: ‘I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind.’

Salman’s responses resulted in an immediate halt of the interview by an accompanying official.

Other World Cup organizers were reportedly contacted but failed to comment. FIFA also refused to comment when contacted.

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Salman’s position is a bit contradictory to that of other organizers, who have insisted that everyone will be welcomed to the tournament irrespective of sexual orientation.

World Cup
FIFA President asks FAs to ‘focus on the football’ and leave ideological battles

Meanwhile, calls to boycott the tournament has been renting the air and FIFA have come under heavy criticism, when they reportedly circulated letters to FAs asking them to ‘focus on football’ and avoid joining issues with Qatari human right situation in the tournament.

FIFA’s letter came when they learned that some FAs led by England and Wales are planning to flag rainbow colors and wear ‘One Love Armbands‘ during the matches in the tournament in protest of Qatar’s discrimination against LGBT+ communities.

While Gianni Infantino has asked all participating FA’s not to drag football into all political and ideological battles that exist, some organizers have said they will welcome all, including LGBT+ fans, but the culture of the Qatari people must be respected.

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