Qatar treatment of homosexuals 'absolutely unacceptable' - DFB director Bierhoff takes aim at World Cup hosts

Oliver BierhoffGetty Images

Oliver Bierhoff has criticised 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar for its treatment of LGBTQ+ people, calling attitudes within the country "unacceptable".

Homosexuality is banned in Qatar, with severe penalties for those in gay or lesbian relationships which theoretically stretch as far as the death penalty.

This did not stop FIFA awarding the World Cup to the Middle Eastern nation, and with the tournament finally coming around this year, attitudes to minority communities are coming under scrutiny.

What has Bierhoff said about Qatar?

"Such treatment of homosexuals is absolutely unacceptable. It in no way corresponds to my views," the DFB managing director told German media group Funke.

"What award criteria for a World Cup does FIFA actually apply? Because awarding a tournament is the sharpest sword to push for the necessary change.

"This has to happen before the award and not after, otherwise you have no leverage left to enforce it."

The 54-year-old former Germany international went on to say that "the award criteria must be closely linked to human rights issues".

World Cup puts spotlight on Qatar

The 2022 tournament takes place between November 21 and December 18, and is the first such event to take place in Middle Eastern Asia.

Several controversies have dogged the country in the build up, including the nation's treatment of LGBTQ+ people, as well as the rights of workers building the stadia, the climate - which necessitated moving the tournament from summer to winter - and Qatar's lack of standing in world football.

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