Shortly before the soccer World Cup in Qatar, the criticism of the tournament host continues. The emirate’s foreign minister condemned the tones coming from Europe as arrogant and racist.
Qatar’s foreign minister sees criticism from German politicians of the host of the World Cup as double standards.
“On the one hand, the German population is misinformed by government politicians, on the other hand, the government has no problem with us when it comes to energy partnerships or investments,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He could not understand that the World Cup organizers would “suddenly have different standards”. “This is not the kind of relationship we want to see between two countries like Germany and Qatar,” said the foreign minister.
Most recently, before the visit of the Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, who is also responsible for top-class sport, there had been discord in Qatar because the SPD politician had criticized the awarding of the world championship to the Arab country. The World Cup in the emirate has long been criticized for human rights violations and the treatment of workers from other countries.
Al Thani sees companies as having an obligation
Foreign Minister Al Thani said Qatar’s government had launched a series of reforms, including labor law. “It’s an ongoing process that never stops – and it won’t stop after the World Cup,” he said. But it is unfair to always point to Qatar’s government. “If there is a problem in a European country, for example with safety at work, then the companies are criticized,” said Al Thani.
The companies, including European ones, are obliged to implement the new rules and standards in Qatar. “If companies still don’t comply, that’s not the government’s fault,” emphasized the Foreign Minister.
He described European criticism of the situation in Qatar as “very arrogant and very racist”. Nevertheless, winning the World Cup is “a blessing for his country. We are very proud of it and we are very confident that this World Cup will be one of the best you have ever seen,” said Al Thani.