Thursday June 11th, 2015

The Qatari government and the Qatar Football Association are suing former German FA president Theo Zwanziger for libel, according to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Qatar takes issue with Zwanziger calling the country “a cancer on world football.” In a statement, the Qatari embassy called Zwanziger's comments “unacceptable slander and vilification.”

Zwanziger has spoken out against the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for years. He said in September that he did not believe the tournament would take place in Qatar and said in 2013 that FIFA's decision to award the Cup to the tiny Persian Gulf nation was “one of the biggest mistakes ever in the history of sport.” In March, Zwanziger pushed for FIFA to strip Qatar of its hosting privileges

FIFA: No legal grounds to take World Cup from Russia or Qatar

Zwanziger was the head of German soccer from 2006 to 2012 and was a member of FIFA's executive committee until last month's FIFA congress. 

Qatar has been widely criticized for human rights violations in connection with its World Cup preparations. The country's government admitted in May 2014 that nearly 1,000 migrant workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh died in 2012 and 2013. More than 4,000 migrant workers are projected to die by time the first game is played in 2022, The Guardian reported in 2013

- Dan Gartland

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