Qatar 2022 chief executive Nasser Al Khater has urged England boss Gareth Southgate to “choose his words carefully” after raising concerns about the country’s suitability to host the World Cup.
Allegations of the treatment of migrant workers and a poor human rights record have plagued the Gulf state since it was controversially awarded the final in 2010.
Male homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, same-sex marriages are not recognized by the government, and women’s rights are much stricter than in some other parts of the world.
Southgate previously said it was a “huge disgrace” that sections of England fans will not be traveling to Qatar for the World Cup this winter, stressing that no one was “complacent” about the issues involved.
Ahead of the international break friendlies, Southgate hosted a meeting with the current England squad to discuss the ongoing challenges in Qatar and open a dialogue on how England could show their opposition.
He questioned what an England boycott of the World Cup, which begins in November, would achieve and admitted that any action by his team would draw criticism from some quarters.
Following England’s win against Ivory Coast at Wembley on Tuesday night, Southgate has traveled to Qatar as part of the Football Association’s delegation to Friday’s World Cup draw.
Al Khater was asked about the opinions of the England manager and hopes to have a face-to-face interview during the FIFA Congress in Doha.
“My question would be who from the England squad was in Qatar? My question to the coach is: was he in Qatar?” he said in an interview with Sky Sports News.
“Does he base his opinions and public statements on what he has read? Because it’s a problem when you’re just relying on an opinion that you’re very vocal about things you’ve read.
“Someone with a lot of influence like Southgate, someone with a large audience listening to what they said, has to choose their words carefully.
“I think before he makes statements like that about the workers, he needs to come here, talk to the workers and understand what the workers gain from being here.
“There are isolated cases, those are the cases that make it into the media. However, I can assure him that if he comes here, talks to the majority of the workers, they will tell you how they got their children through university, they will tell you how they built their houses for them and their families to have. Those are the stories no one hears.
“So I’m looking forward to welcoming him here, I’m looking forward to meeting him in the draw. He can hear my opinion. He doesn’t have to believe it, but at least he has to go as far as to understand different opinions, to understand different cultures.
“I offer him my deepest respect. I respect him as a coach, as a person. I have no problem with other people’s opinions. Obviously, if someone has a different opinion, you will tell them your side of the story. We can agree to disagree, but that’s okay.”
Meanwhile, FIFA has announced that their new rules on loaning players will be implemented from July.
From July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, a club may loan a maximum of eight professionals aged 22 and over and borrow eight.
This number will drop to six players on or loaned out from July 1, 2024.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/world-cup/qatar-world-cup-chief-warns-gareth-southgate-to-choose-his-words-carefully-41505944.html Qatar World Cup boss warns Gareth Southgate to ‘choose his words carefully’