The Qatar World Cup is not a tournament “for fans”, says Germany coach Hansi Flick, who believes “football should be there for everyone”.
The latest staging of the flagship tournament has been the source of much controversy since it was awarded to Qatar in 2010.
The nation’s stance towards women and the LGBTQ+ community was widely pointed to as a problem from the outset, while the deaths of thousands of migrant workers have been reported during preparation for the finals.
Given Qatar’s limited accommodation facilities and the move to the middle of the European club season, the competition has presented issues for both fans and players, even beyond those moral debates.
And Flick had supporters in mind as he added his voice to those criticising the 2022 World Cup.
“Basically, I think it is a shame that this tournament will not be a World Cup for fans,” he told the Frankfurter Rundschau.
“[I have friends] who would like to fly to Qatar, but choose not to for a variety of reasons. Football should be there for everyone. That is why I say it is not a World Cup for fans.”
But Flick recognised making a direct political statement of protest was “a challenge for everyone involved”, adding: “We have already had many discussions.
“We will sit down again in September and consider what we can do together with other nations – or want to do.”
Flick will lead Germany into a major tournament for the first time after succeeding Joachim Low after a last-16 exit to England at Euro 2020.
They will face Japan, Spain and Costa Rica in Group E, with their first game to be played against the Samurai Blue on November 23.