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



CNN

Football pundits on Qatar’s Alkass sports channel have mocked the German football team after they withdrew from the World Cup – parodying the players’ human rights protests.

A video posted on the channel’s Twitter page on Thursday shows former Kuwaiti footballer Jamal Mubarak covering his mouth with his left hand and waving goodbye with his right before calling out to former Egyptian goalkeeper and analyst Essam El-Hadari Join him.

A short time later, El-Hadary and other experts covered their mouths and waved goodbye — apparently celebrating Germany’s exit.

Football pundits on Qatar's Alkass sports channel appear to be imitating the German players' protest gestures.

The gesture mimicked actions taken by German players to protest FIFA’s decision to ban many European captains who have been hoping to wear the “OneLove” armband in Qatar in support of LGBTQ rights.

Ahead of Germany’s opening game on Nov. 23, the team’s starting lineup posed with their right hand in front of their mouth, a gesture against what they see as a crackdown on free speech.

Germany lost to Japan in a shocking upset. A subsequent victory over Costa Rica on Thursday was not enough to take Germany from the group stage to the round of 16.

“Thank God, today all Arab and Muslim countries are praying that Japan will qualify with any team, but above all Germany is out,” Mubarak said on the Alkass sports channel.

The segment was broadcast on the channel’s al-Majlis programme, hosted by Qatari host Khalid Jassem and featuring Arab football analysts including Mubarak, El-Hadary and former Iraqi player Younis Mahmoud.

Jassim told a parliamentary episode after Germany’s 1-1 draw with Spain on Sunday that he was “shocked” by Germany’s protests.

“you [Germany] We should respect our customs, traditions, culture and religion, just like we respect yours,” Jassim said. “When we go to Germany or other places, we respect the rules and laws, respect the Everything that society values. ”

In a series of tweets last week, the DFB supported the protest, saying: “This is not a political statement – human rights are non-negotiable. It should be taken for granted, but it is not. That is why the message is so true to us.” Important. To take away our armbands is to take away our voice.”

Ahead of the game, captains from England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark had planned to wear the armbands – featuring a stripe of a heart in a different colour, representing all traditions – ahead of a warning from FIFA , background, gender and sexual identity. Players may receive a yellow card if they do so.

In the run-up to the World Cup, host Qatar – where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison – has come under fire for its stance on LGBTQ rights.

However, the country insisted that “all are welcome” at the competition, adding in a statement to CNN this month, “Our track record shows that we warmly welcome all, regardless of background. .”

Still, FIFA’s decision to sanction players for wearing the “OneLove” armband has sparked outrage, with the Football Supporters Association, the representative body for football supporters in England and Wales, saying it “feels betrayed”.

“Since 2010, we have questioned Qatar’s suitability to host the World Cup,” said a statement from the FSA.

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