MÖNCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) — German soccer club Borussia Mönchengladbach has strongly criticized the World Cup in Qatar and said it will give only the minimum coverage to its players taking part in the tournament.
“It is not right that the World Cup is taking place in Qatar,” Gladbach said in a statement on Thursday.
“In our eyes, the values that Borussia stands for are not compatible with the awarding and organization of this World Cup. Key criteria like respecting human rights and sustainably using the resources of our planet have to be seriously taken into consideration in the future awarding of large, international tournaments.”
The club referred to “a range of human rights abuses” in Qatar before the tournament and said these had caused reflection from fans around the world on how they should approach it.
“Our constitution sets forth that, as a club, we shall be neutral with regards to our ideology, party politics or faith, and to stand unambiguously for a free democratic order. We are committed therefore to the principle of human rights and actively stand against racism, xenophobia and unconstitutional behavior, as well as discriminatory or inhuman behavior.”
Gladbach acknowledged the tournament is also a high point in players’ careers.
“To ignore this would not be right in our eyes. As a result, we have come to the decision to report only on the on-the-pitch activities of our players on our club channels,” Gladbach said.
Bundesliga rival Hoffenheim previously said it was skipping coverage of the tournament that starts next week in protest against the “human rights violations and discrimination against homosexuals in the autocratic Gulf state.”
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The Associated Press