Qatar World Cup ambassador calls homosexuality ‘a damage in the mind’ during interview

Opening match of 2022 World Cup sees hosts Qatar embarrassed by Ecuador

Image of Qatar World Cup sign. Credit: fifg/

During an interview on German television, Khalid Salman, one of the Qatar World Cup ambassadors, called homosexuality ‘a damage in the mind’. 

Khalid Salman, one of the Qatar World Cup ambassadors, sparked controversy while being interviewed on a German television show today, Tuesday, November 8. Speaking on the subject of homosexuality, Salman said: “They have to accept our rules here. Homosexuality is haram. You know what haram (forbidden) means?”.

When his interviewer asked him why it was haram, Salman responded: “I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind”. The interview was immediately terminated by the co-host. It was scheduled to be broadcast in full this evening.

Qatar’s record on human rights has been well and truly placed under the microscope in the weeks leading up to the start of the biggest football tournament in the world. 

In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any political issues causing problems in the tiny Gulf state, football’s governing body FIFA wrote last week to all of the nations competing in this year’s competition. Players were urged to refrain from making comments about anything other than football.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, with a prison sentence of up to seven years for anybody deemed to have broken that law.

FIFA is yet to make an official response to today’s comments by Khalid Salman. However, Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former head of the organisation, admitted earlier today that it had been a huge mistake to award the World Cup to Qatar.

“For me it is clear: Qatar is a mistake. The choice was bad. What I’m wondering: why is the new Fifa president Gianni Infantino living in Qatar?”, commented Blatter when asked if he felt at all responsible for the decision to play the tournament in the Middle East.

“He can’t be the head of the local World Cup organisation. That’s not his job. There are two organising committees for this – a local one, and one from Fifa”, he added, as reported by


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at