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09th Aug 2022

Philipp Lahm to boycott World Cup in Qatar over human rights abuses

Daniel Brown

‘I prefer to follow the tournament from home’

Former Bayern Munich defender Philipp Lahm says he will boycott this year’s World Cup over human rights abuses by host nation Qatar.

The Gulf state was controversially awarded the tournament back in 2010, with the country’s human rights record and treatment of migrant workers widely criticised.

Lahm, who captained Germany when they defeated Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil, currently works as the German FA’s tournament director for EURO 2024.

The 38-year-old has now revealed that he will not travel to Qatar, insisting that it is ‘crazy’ to host the tournament in a country with such a poor human rights record.

“I’m not part of the delegation and I’m not keen on flying there as a fan,” Lahm told Kicker.“I prefer to follow the tournament from home.

“Human rights should play the biggest role in the awarding of a tournament. If a country is awarded the contract that is one of the worst performers in this regard, you start to think about the criteria used to make the decision.

“That shouldn’t happen again in the future. Human rights, sustainability, the size of the country… none of that seems to have played a role.”

The former German international is also hopeful that the likes of captain Manuel Neuer will openly discuss the issue during the time they are playing in Qatar, saying: “As a player, you can’t get around it anymore.”

More than 6,000 migrant workers have died in Qatar

An investigation by The Guardian in 2021 found that 6,500 migrant workers have died working on World Cup-related infrastructure projects due to unsafe working conditions.

According to Amnesty International, Qatari ‘authorities continue to curtail freedom of expression using abusive laws to stifle critical voices,’ while women and LGBTQ+ people are severely oppressed.

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