German club Hoffenheim will not cover this year’s World Cup in Qatar. Hoffenheim said on Thursday that it would not give any coverage of the tournament due to the difficulty of providing what it called “urgently required analytical commentary to contextualize sporting events” in the Middle Eastern country. Hoffenheim has featured photos and text articles focused primarily on its own players at major tournaments, but the team announced in a statement that it will “renounce such reporting” in all of its media for this year’s World Cup.
The Bundesliga club referred to the “doubtful circumstances of the awarding process, the catastrophic conditions at stadium construction sites, the damaging impact of the weather and the conditions required to hold an event like this in the desert in this unusual moment.” The World Cup, which traditionally takes place in June and July, will start on November 20 and end on December 18 this year in order to avoid the extreme heat in the country.
“However, the main focus is on human rights violations and discrimination against homosexuals in the autocratic Gulf state,” Hoffenheim stressed in his statement.
On Monday, Qatar’s ambassador to Germany was urged to abolish his country’s sanctions for homosexuality, during a congress organized by the German soccer federation. The president of the federation, Bernd Neuendorf, also called on the Qatari government to establish work centers where migrants can go in case of labor violations by employers, as well as the creation of a compensation fund. for the families of workers who died or were injured during the construction of the World Cup venues.