August 9 – Former Germany captain Philipp Lahm is to boycott this year’s World Cup over host nation Qatar’s human rights record.
The Gulf state was controversially awarded the tournament back in 2010 and its opening match is now just over three months away
Lahm was captain of the German national side when they won the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and now works as the German FA’s tournament director for EURO 2024 being staged in his homeland.
But the 38-year-old says he has taken the personal decision that he will not travel to Qatar.
“I’m not part of the delegation and I’m not keen on flying there as a fan,” the ex-Bayern Munich full-back told Kicker. “I prefer to follow the tournament from home.”
Lahm isn’t the first person to question why the World Cup was handed to Qatar, the vote having prompted the biggest ever corruption scandal in FIFA’s history.
Qatar had never previously qualified for the World Cup and was ranked 113th in the world when awarded hosting rights for the tournament, which has been moved to winter this year as a one-off due to the extreme summer temperatures in the nation.
“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,” Lahm said.
“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.”
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