Qatari TV pundits mock Germany’s ‘OneLove’ armband protest after World Cup exit


Football pundits on Qatar’s Alkass Sports channel mocked the German soccer team after their World Cup exit – mimicking the players’ protest over human rights.

A video posted Thursday on the channel’s Twitter page shows former Kuwaiti soccer player Jamal Mubarak saying goodbye to the right with his left hand over his mouth, then asking former Egyptian goalkeeper and fellow analyst Essam El-Hadary to join him.

Soon after, El-Hadary and the other pundits then say goodbye – apparently to celebrate Germany’s departure.

The gesture mimics what German players did to protest FIFA’s decision to ban the “OneLove” armband, which many European leaders were expected to wear in Qatar in support of LGBTQ rights.

Before the first game in Germany on November 23, the team’s starting line-up appeared with their right hands in front of their mouths, a gesture of opposition to what they saw as an interference with free speech.

Germany lost that match against Japan in a shocking situation. A late win against Costa Rica on Thursday was not enough for Germany to advance from the group stage and into the last 16.

“Thank God, all the Arab and Muslim nations (today) are praying for Japan to qualify with any team, but the most important thing is Germany’s exit,” Mubarak said on Alkass Sports channel.

The segment aired on the channel’s al-Majlis program, hosted by Qatari presenter Khalid Jassem and featuring Arab football analysts including Mubarak, El-Hadari and former Iraqi player Younis Mahmoud.

Jassem said in an episode of Al-Majlis that he was “shocked” by Germany’s protest after Germany’s 1:1 draw against Spain last Sunday.

“you [Germany] We must respect our customs, traditions, culture and religion just as we respect your customs, traditions and culture,” Jasem said. “When we go to Germany or other places, we respect the rules and regulations, and respect everything that the society there loves.”

In a series of tweets last week, the German Football Confederation stood by the protest, saying, “It’s not about making a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. It should be taken lightly, but it still isn’t. That is why this message is so important to us. Denying us the armband is like denying us a voice. ”

Ahead of the tournament, the captains of England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark had planned to wear armbands with a heart with stripes in different colors to represent all heritages, backgrounds, genders and sexual identities – FIFA warned Before. Players who do so may receive a yellow card.

In the build-up to the World Cup, host country Qatar – where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by three years in prison – has been criticized for its stance on LGBTQ rights.

However, the country has insisted that “everyone is welcome” at the tournament, telling CNN this month, “Our record shows that we have warmly welcomed everyone, regardless of background.”

However, FIFA’s decision to approve players to wear the “OneLove” armband has left the Football Supporters’ Association furious with the Football Supporters’ Association in England and Wales, saying it “feels betrayed”.

“Since 2010 we have been raising questions about Qatar’s suitability as a World Cup host country,” a statement from the FSA said.


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