By Sarah Townsend
Theo Zwanziger, who served on the executive committee for 4 years, has made powerful comments against Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup in recent months
Qatar officials are reportedly suing an ex-FIFA executive who made
“slanderous” comments against the country.
Theo Zwanziger described the Gulf state as “a cancer on world football”
in an interview with a German radio station last month.
According to German newspaper Bild,
Qatar has filed a libel lawsuit against Zwanziger, with the Qatar embassy in
Germany reportedly calling his comments an “unacceptable slander and vilification
of the citizens and community”.
Zwanziger, whose four-year term on FIFA’s executive committee came to an
end in May, has made powerful comments against Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup
in recent months.
Last September, he questioned the country’s ability to host the
competition because of its intense summer heat.
And in March he said Qatar should be stripped of 2022 World Cup hosting
rights to rectify the mistake of awarding the country the world’s biggest
single sports event, Reuters reported.
"The best solution would be not to play in Qatar and to rectify
this wrong awarding,” he told Bayern 2 radio station.
He said, however, that this should only happen if a report into how the
World Cup was awarded supplies details of specific wrongdoing that broke FIFA
Qatar website Doha News pointed out that it is the second time this
month that Qatar has launched legal action against a high-profile European
critic of the country.
On June 1, the government said it was suing French politician Florian
Philippot, deputy leader of the far-right National Front party, for accusing
Qatar and Saudi Arabia of “funding an Islamism that kills” in a radio interview
two days after the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris.