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Qatar summons German envoy over interior minister’s World Cup remarks

Qatar has summoned Germany’s ambassador to object comments made by the interior minister questioning if the Gulf state should be hosting the World Cup.

The Gulf state’s foreign ministry handed the ambassador an “objection memo”, an official statement said on Friday.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser had criticised Qatar’s human rights record in a television interview on Thursday, ahead of the football tournament that starts on November 20.

The letter expressed Doha’s “disappointment and complete rejection and condemnation of remarks” by Faeser concerning Qatar’s “hosting of the World Cup”.

The ministry “demanded a clarification for these remarks”.

Faeser was scheduled to visit Qatar on Monday.

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‘Human rights’ issue

In an interview with the ARD network aired on Thursday, Faeser said that for the German government, Qatar’s hosting of the tournament was “very tricky.”

She added: “There are criteria that must be adhered to and it would be better that tournaments are not awarded to such states.”

This is the first time a foreign ambassador in Qatar has been summoned about such comments.

Faeser, in a statement released ahead of her visit with the head of the German football federation, said that the issue of rights would be raised in talks.

“No World Cup takes place in a vacuum. Human rights always apply everywhere – and now the whole world is paying special attention,” Faeser said.

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