"I'll follow it from home": World Cup legend hits against Qatar 2022
He lifted the World Cup with his nation but he won't be joining them in Qatar 2022
Philipp Lahm has the authority and the voice to talk about the World Cup. The former footballer of the German National Team played in the competition three times, 2006, 2010 and 2014, being crowned champion in his last outing and raising the trophy as captain of that team led by Joachim Löw. But today Lahm refuses to attend the biggest competition at the National Team level, alleging that FIFA's decision to choose Qatar as the venue violates human rights.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup is getting closer every day. For football fans who long to attend the event, the wait becomes endless, something that would not be happening to the renowned Philipp Lahm, who confirmed that he will be one of the great absentees from the World Cup.
The former German defender assured that he will not travel to Qatar in a recent interview: "I'm not part of the delegation and I'm not keen on flying there as a fan", Lahm told German newspaper Kicker, "I prefer to follow the tournament from home".
The reason? The former Bayern Munich captain is doing it out of his moral standpoint. "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", explained Lahm
Along the same lines, the former footballer charged against FIFA and raised his voice against 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".
Finally, Lahm respected the decision of the German players, considering that "as a player, you can no longer avoid it" and nominated the German National Team to win the trophy: "they are one of the favorites of the competition".
More than 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since it was named the host country for the next 2022 World Cup 12 years ago, according to a 2021 investigation by UK newspaper The Guardian, with 37 of those deaths being specifically related to the building of the tournament's venues.
Another issue comes with Amnesty International claims that women and the LGBTQ+ group are persecuted in Qatar, where "authorities continue to suppress freedom of expression using oppressive laws to muzzle critical voices." Homosexuality is prohibited in the country, and same-sex partnerships can result in criminal charges and a seven-year prison term.
Following the discovery that several hotels nationwide were refusing to host same-sex couples, Gareth Southgate, the manager of England, said it was a "big tragedy" that some Three Lions fans won't be able to follow the team to the World Cup. Nasser Al Khater, the chief executive of Qatar 2022, criticised Southgate's remarks and urged him to "choose his words wisely".