#AEDH – Qatar Sue Theo Zwanzinger
In an unusual case that once again highlights the sensitivity surrounding Qatar
winning the right to stage the 2022 World Cup, officials of the Gulf state are suing
former FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger for referring to them as a
“cancerous growth on world football”.
Zwanziger, who headed the German football association (DFB) until 2012, made the
comments last year when asked in a TV interview whether the decision to let Qatar
stage the tournament should be reviewed as corruption allegations swirled around
football’s world governing body.
Ironically Zwanziger, who stepped down from FIFA’s inner circle last year, was the
official appointed to liaise with the Qatari authorities over the welfare of
construction workers and Qatar’s FA said the cancer remark showed collective
disrespect and was slanderous.
The Qataris seek to prevent Zwanziger, who was elected to his FIFA post by
European members from 2011-2015, repeating such comments. He has been a long-
standing critic of the Qatar World Cup but claims his words were directed not against
a person or Qatari institution, but FIFA’s system of awarding the 2022 World Cup and
the choice of Qatar per se.