Somebody with lot of influence like Gareth Southgate needs to pick his words carefully, asserts Nasser Al Khater
2022 World Cup CEO Nasser Al Khater has hit out at Gareth Southgate as he believes that the England boss commands a lot of influence and thus needs to pick his words carefully. Al Khater also added that Southgate shouldn’t be basing his opinions on statements and should see the situation first.
With Qatar handed the 2022 World Cup by FIFA in 2010, the decision didn’t go down well with fans and critics alike especially with the country’s poor human rights record. However, that hasn’t changed in the years since especially with reports and stories coming about how they have treated the workers building the stadiums. So much so, that reports indicated several countries were considering boycotting the tournament if they were to make the cut.
While nobody has released an official statement as of yet, several high profile footballers and managers have spoken out including England boss Gareth Southgate. He hit out at the tournament and the conditions as well as the human rights issues which hasn’t gone down well with Nasser Al Khater.
The 2022 World Cup CEO fired back at Southgate and asked the England boss to visit the country, see the conditions and then make his own opinions without using public statements. He also said that someone like Southgate commands a lot of influence and he needs to use that properly.
"My question would be, who from the England squad has come to Qatar? My question to the coach is, has he been to Qatar? Is he basing his opinions and his public statements on what he has read? Because it is kind of an issue if you're basing your opinions and you are very vocal about that based on things you have read" Al Khater told Sky Sports.
“Somebody with a lot of influence, such as Southgate, somebody with a big audience that listens to what he says, ought to pick his words very carefully. And I think that before making statements like that, when it comes to the workers, he needs to come here and speak to workers and understand what workers get out of being here.
“There are isolated cases, those are the cases that make it to the media, however, I can assure him that if he comes here and speaks to the majority of the workers, they will tell you how they put their children through university, they will tell you how they've built their houses for them and their families.
"And these are the stories that nobody hears, so I look forward to welcoming him here, I look forward to meeting him at the draw and he can listen to my opinion, he does not have to believe it, but at least he needs to go that far to understand different opinions and different cultures.
"No country is perfect, let's get that right and I do not think anybody can claim that, so if somebody is coming and claiming they are a perfect country, they need to really take a look at themselves,” he added.