Qatar World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman has said in a recent interview that homosexuality is “damage in the mind.’
The comments, which were made in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF, comes as the Qatar preps for the World Cup on November 20 as the host country takes on Ecuador.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
‘They have to accept our rules here,’ said Salman, a former Qatari national team player. ‘(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.’
Qatar has come under fire since being announced in 2010 as the first country in the Middle East to host the world’s premier soccer tournament for human rights violations and treatment of its workers.
“Of course such comments are terrible, and that is the reason why we are working on things in Qatar hopefully improving,” Germany interior minister Nancy Faeser said.
More than 1 million international visitors are expected to arrive in Qatar for the World Cup.
“During the World Cup, many things will come here to the country. Let’s talk about gays,” Salman said. “The most important thing is, everybody will accept that they come here. But they will have to accept our rules.”