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Calls for German FA to take stand on human rights in Qatar

Berlin (AFP) – The Social Democratic Party (SPD) of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has put pressure on the German FA (DFB) to make clear their position on human rights in World Cup host-nation Qatar.

“The World Cup will take place and I also believe that Germany should be involved,” Lars Klingbeil, joint party leader of the SPD, said Tuesday.

“But it should not take place in a vacuum. We must put the political, social and all related issues on the table.

“That’s what I expect from the DFB.”

Qatar will host the World Cup finals from November 21 until December 18.

The issue of human rights in the Gulf state has sparked hot debate in Germany.

Last week, non-governmental organisations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International both gave presentations to the Germany squad about Qatar.

“That was a very important and serious event. I think it is important to address this issue,” said DFB president Bernd Neuendorf.

Last March, the German team wore black T-shirts with white lettering to spell out “Human Rights” before a World Cup qualifier.

The joint awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar has proved controversial since FIFA announced the decision back in 2010.

On Monday, Germany’s 2014 World Cup winning captain Philipp Lahm criticised the awarding of the 2022 finals to Qatar.

“No, it shouldn’t have had it,” Lahm replied when asked about the awarding to Qatar.

“I think it is essential that in the future, a watertight criteria is set when awarding the World Cup.

“The selection procedure must be transparent.

“If you look at FIFA’s evaluation report, it advised against it, among other things because of the human rights situation.

“One wonders why Qatar was voted for. I find that quite strange.”

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