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Qatar summons German ambassador over World Cup criticism

Qatar, which will be the first Middle East country to host the World Cup, has been criticized by Germany for its human rights record.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images

Qatar summoned the German ambassador today over comments a German official made about the Gulf state. 

What happened: Yesterday, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser criticized the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, specifically mentioning the human rights situation in the country. Faeser’s remarks were widely reported in the German media. 

Today, Qatar summoned the German ambassador in response to Faeser’s comments and handed him a memo. 

“The memo expressed the State of Qatar’s complete rejection of those remarks made towards a country whose hosting of the World Cup was justice done to a region suffering from an unjust stereotype for decades,” read a statement from the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Why it matters: Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup starting on Nov. 18, becoming the first country in the Middle East to do so. Qatar was awarded the rights to host the soccer tournament back in 2011. 

The plight of the laborers who worked on the tournament preparations has been heavily scrutinized since Qatar was awarded the hosting rights. This week, the DC-based Atlantic Council said that Qatar’s labor reforms have done little to improve working conditions. 

Not all the criticism focuses on the World Cup itself. Human Rights Watch also recently reported on arbitrary detention and abuse of LGBTQ people by Qatari police. 

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani recently responded to the criticism, saying, “Qatar has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has faced.” 

Know more: Qatar will soon remove the COVID-19 testing requirements to enter the country, meaning soccer fans can fly into Doha without a test. 

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