Oliver Bierhoff is critical of the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar

Oliver Bierhoff is now very critical of the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar. “On the one hand, I always thought at the beginning: Who owns the football? Does it only belong to Europe, does it only belong to South America – or does it belong to the whole world?” said the DFB director for national teams and academies in response to research by RTL/ntv on the situation of homosexuals in the emirate.

So initially, the idea of ​​playing football around the world still seemed right to him. But “the world has also changed,” said Bierhoff, and he added: “The requirements, the demands are different, including the fans, the people. So you have to take that into account.” He asked himself: “Yes, how could FIFA bring the World Cup to this country?”

It should be criticized that “in the first point, attention was perhaps only paid to stadiums or other points, or of course commerce, and not to aspects such as human rights or other social issues”. The German Football Association (DFB) must also act on a change in the award criteria and thus make it clear “that the next award will only be made to countries in which such things do not happen”.

Bierhoff would not recommend a trip to Qatar to his personal acquaintance from the LGBTIQ+ community without hesitation. “It’s hard, it’s hard. I don’t know,” he said. The person in his distant circle of acquaintances is also “from the Arab world” and lives “constantly in fear of being caught,” Bierhoff said. “I mean, the worst thing is of course the social ostracism, that you can hear out there. The other thing is when you are afraid in your life and then you are also patronized by a state institution – that is of course dramatic.”

Homosexual acts are criminalized in Qatar. Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani recently asserted that “all people are welcome” to the World Cup in winter (November 21 to December 18), although visitors must respect the national culture. Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has left open whether he wants to wear a rainbow-style captain’s armband at the World Cup.

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