Qatar's FIFA World Cup ambassador and former footballer Khalid Salman told a German broadcaster that he believes homosexuality "is damage in the mind.”
Salman made the comments while speaking with ZDF on the topic of homosexuality in Qatar, which is illegal in that country.
He said, “The most important thing is, everybody will accept that they come here. But they will have to accept our rules.”
Salman said that still he was concerned that children would learn “something that is not good,” CNN reported, citing a transcript of the broadcast.
Reaction was swift with footballer Leon Goretzka of Bayern Munich saying the comments were "very oppressive" and "from another millennium."
Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka condemned the anti-gay comments made by Qatar's World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman. pic.twitter.com/hLfcZ09ypR— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 9, 2022
Salman played football for Qatar in the 1980s and 1990s and took part in the summer Olympics in 1984 when they were held in Los Angeles, California.
He was selected to become one of the host country's ambassadors, as Qatar prepares to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.
The former president of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) criticized the pick of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup saying "the choice was bad."
Blatter spoke about the country Qatar saying, "It's a country that's too small."
Football and the World Cup are too big for that," he said.
"It was a bad choice. And I was responsible for that as president at the time," said Blatter.
Blatter said that he had long voted for the United States to be the host, NPR reported.