Qatar Chief Rejects Criticism Ahead Of World Cup

Qatar Chief Rejects Criticism Ahead Of World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar’s ruling emir on Tuesday lashed out at criticism of his country over hosting the World Cup, calling it an “unprecedented campaign” against the first Arab country to host a football tournament. Stated.

Since winning its candidacy a decade ago, Qatar has been questioned and criticized for its treatment of migrant workers and the LGBTQ community, among other issues.

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Alleged mistreatment of the low-wage day laborers who ran Qatar’s economy and built its gleaming World Cup stadium has become the subject of constant protests around the world, especially in Europe.

Qatar has repeatedly rejected such criticisms, claiming the country has improved protection for migrant workers and saying the arguments against it are outdated.

“Qatar is facing an unprecedented and unprecedented campaign faced by the host country,” Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said in a televised address to the emirate’s legislature on Tuesday. Stated.

“The campaign has tended to continue, and has tended to include highly offensive hoaxes and double standards, unfortunately leading many to question the real motives and reasons.

Rights groups acknowledge Qatar has improved its labor laws. For example, in 2020 it introduced a minimum wage of $275 a month and dismantled the “kafala” system that prevented workers from changing jobs or leaving the country without their employer’s consent. But activists are calling for further reforms.

Pressure on Qatar, which criminalizes homosexuality, has also increased in recent months. Qatari law provides for prison terms of one to three years for an adult convicted of consensual homosexual acts. The European Football Federation announced last month the captain’s intention to wear a Rainbow Her Heart bracelet as part of a campaign against discrimination during international matches.

Qatar has said the World Cup is open to all, including LGBTQ fans, but that visitors must respect the country’s conservative culture.

British activists staged a protest outside the Qatar National Museum on Tuesday. 70-year-old Peter Tatchell held up a sign accusing Qatar of imprisoning members of his LGBTQ community.

Organizers claimed Tatchell was arrested, but police later admitted they only interrogated him on the sidewalk.

Qatar denies Tatchel was arrested, saying its version is ‘totally false’

“Individuals standing at the roundabout were politely and professionally asked to move to the sidewalk, but no one was arrested,” the Government Communications Center said in a statement.

In his speech, Sheikh promised Qatar would also benefit from the increased attention given to the world’s biggest sporting event.

“This was a huge test for a country the size of Qatar that will impress the whole world with what it has already achieved and what it is trying to achieve,” he said.

The tournament will start on November 20th, with the final scheduled for December 18th.

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