Search icon


08th Nov 2022

Ambassador for Qatar World Cup says homosexuality is ‘damage in the mind’

Simon Lloyd

But remember: ‘everyone is welcome’

An ambassador for the Qatar World Cup has described homosexuality as “damage in the mind” during an interview with German TV.

The issue of Qatar’s attitudes towards homosexuality has been a huge talking point in the lead up to the tournament, with a series of players and LGBTQ+ fan groups voicing their concerns.

Organisers and Fifa president Gianni Infantino have continued to insist that ‘everyone is welcome’ at the tournament, but comments made by former Qatari international Khalid Salman will understandably raise concern.

Speaking to broadcaster ZDF,  Salman said: “They [visitors] have to accept our rules here.

“(Homosexuality) is haram. You know what haram (forbidden) means?,” he said.

When pushed on why it was haram, Salman added: “I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind.”

According to Reuters, the interview was at that point stopped by an official who had been accompanying Salman.

The buildup to the World Cup, which is set to be one of the most controversial ever held, has been overshadowed by intense scrutiny of Qatar’s human rights record and attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people.

Preparation for the tournament was also marred by allegations of corruption relating to the bidding process.

Two weeks to go.

Related links: