Simon Jordan has hit out at Qatar 2022 chief Nasser Al Khater for his criticism of Gareth Southgate’s recent comments on the tournament.
Accusations concerning the treatment of migrant workers and a poor record of human rights have plagued the Gulf state since it was controversially awarded the finals in 2010.
Male homosexuality is punishable by a prison sentence, same-sex marriages are not recognised by the government and women’s rights are much tighter than in some other parts of the world.
Southgate previously said it is a “great shame” that sections of England supporters will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup this winter and stressed that no one is “complacent” about the issues involved.
Ahead of their friendlies over the international break, Southgate hosted a meeting with the current England squad, discussing the ongoing challenges in Qatar and opening a dialogue on how England could show their opposition.
He questioned what an England boycott of the World Cup, which kicks off in November, would achieve and admitted whatever action might be taken by his team will be met with criticism from some quarters.
Al Khater was questioned on the opinions of the England boss and hopes to get the opportunity to talk things through face to face during the FIFA congress in Doha.
“My question would be who from the England squad has been to Qatar? My question to the coach is has he been to Qatar?” he said in an interview with Sky Sports News.
“Is he basing his opinions and his public statements on what he has read? Because it is kind of an issue when you just base an opinion on which you are very vocal about on things which you have read.
“Somebody with a lot of influence such as Southgate, somebody with a big audience that listens to what he has said has got to pick his words carefully.
“Somebody with a lot of influence such as Southgate, he’s got to pick his words carefully.”
Qatar 2022 Chief Executive Nasser Al Khater has responded to Gareth Southgate following the England manager voicing concerns about the country’s suitability to host the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/UCgAG2CtYi
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 31, 2022
“I think before making statements like that when it comes to the workers, he needs to come here, speak to workers, understand what workers get out of being here.
“There are isolated cases, these are the cases which make it to the media. However, I can assure him that if he comes here, speaks to the majority of workers, they will tell you how they have put their children through University, they will tell you how they built their houses for them and their families. These are the stories that nobody hears.
“So I look forward to welcoming him here, I look forward to meeting him at the draw. He can listen to my opinion. He doesn’t have to believe it, but at least he needs to go that far to understand different opinions, to understand different cultures.
“I am extending him my deepest respect. I respect him as a coach, as a human being. I don’t have any issues with people’s opinions. Obviously when someone has a different opinion, you will give them your side of the story. We can agree to disagree, but that’s fine.”
And former Crystal Palace owner Jordan was less than impressed by Al Khater’s interview and said the World Cup in Qatar is “a disgrace”.
Jordan told talkSPORT: “I listened to the interview and I thought, what a self serving load of sanctimonious rubbish you’re talking about.
“Gareth Southgate was absolutely balanced on the conversation.
“He acknowledged the complexity of the situation, he didn’t commit himself to any weigh of observational judgement, he talked about the nature of his players being informed and educated and aware of the circumstances.
“He didn’t come down on the side of things, he talked about the dynamics of football and the importance of it but also being aware of the subject matter, he acknowledged the difference in cultures.
“The fact of the matter the World Cup in Qatar is a disgrace, a disgrace that it’s been awarded there. There are issues.
“We all respect cultures, but we also have a right to be able to understand what we are bringing our nations into.
“And his responses [Al Khater] were at the very best, disingenuous, they spent a lot of money to showpony David Beckham to glamourise and legitimise this tournament as a brand ambassador.
“It’s unarguable that their culture, whilst different, does have challenges for fans coming there and Kaveh [Solhekol, Sky Sports reporter] was trying to [get him to] answer those questions.
“Homosexuality is outlawed and illegal in that country, there is an attitude and disposition towards LGBTQ, and whether we think its gone too far in our country about some of our own views, there is a legitimate reason to question it, but Gareth Southgate didn’t do any of that.
“If he wants to talk about Gareth Southgate relying on propaganda, then he should inform himself exactly what Gareth Southgate said.
“So he’s accusing Gareth of not being across the facts of the observations that he’s making, whilst not being across the facts of what Gareth has actually said.
“I think Gareth has played this absolutely right.”
The post Jordan slams 2022 World Cup chief after Southgate criticism appeared first on Football365.