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2022 World Cup | Germany duo Goretzka & Neuer speak out against Qatari World Cup and ambassador Khalid Salman

The star Bayern Munich condemn Salman’s anti-gay comments as Germany are in the final stages of their preparations for the 2022 World Cup ahead of this weekend’s Bundesliga action


German stars Leon Goretzka and Manuel Neuer have sent a verbal volley in the direction of Qatari World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman today in the wake of distressing comments levied by the former footballer.

Salman, who spent 18 years plying his trade for domestic giants Al Sadd, sat down in an interview with German television outlet ZDF stating “They have to accept our rules here,” referencing traveling LGBTQ fans that are set to arrive in Qatar to witness the 2022 World Cup.

“(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.”

At that stage, the interview was immediately stopped, but Salman had already let fly with his damaging rhetoric.

In response, there has been expected backlash from multiple corners of the footballing world, with Bayern Munich midfielder and Germany international Leon Goretzka chiming in yesterday in defense of the LGBTQ community.

“For me, it was a big mistake that the criteria of choosing the host nation didn’t include a functioning human rights situation. It’s something that makes us angry. I think it will be our task to use the world’s attention at a tournament like this to convey values that are important to us and not so important to Qatar. In what form? We’ll see. But you can be sure that we’ll do everything for that.”

Goretzka further eluded to his opinion that Bayern should part ways with their sponsorship agreement with Qatar Airways; “I think the contract expires next year and I’m actually pretty sure that the club will act in the interests of the club and also its members.”

When directly asked if he was hoping that Bayern would end its sponsorship connection, he simply replied “Personally, I wouldn’t be against that.”

National team and Bayern captain Manuel Neuer has also weighed in as reported by ESPN’s lead Bundesliga commentator Derek Rae.

Neuer continued; “We hope of course that through the One-Love armband we can show a lot of strength together with other nations.”

In what has now become a situation where clubs, managers, players, and fans continue to justifiably make their voices heard on multiple distressing topics, FIFA’s calls for players, staff, and fans to “let football take center stage” and have participants avoid becoming embroiled in the political sphere continues to be ignored.


Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.



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