Qatar 2022 |  Nadal on the FIFA World Cup - "Everyone should be able to express themselves freely"

Qatar 2022 | Nadal on the FIFA World Cup – “Everyone should be able to express themselves freely”

According to Nadal, football players and activists should also be able to express their opinions during the World Cup. It is a response to the controversy that has arisen in Qatar regarding, among other things, the human rights situation in the Gulf state and LGBT rights in the country where homosexuality is still a criminal offence.

Previously, seven countries, including the Netherlands, wanted to wear the OneLove Band during World Cup matches. The squad is a symbol of diversity and inclusion in football and beyond. However, FIFA decided to ban the band at the last minute.

The German and Belgian ministers responded to the ban by wearing the band in the stands. Dutch Minister for Long-Term Care and Sport Connie Helder wore the OneLove pin at the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Qatar.

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Nadal, a football fanatic, told reporters in South America that he regretted that Qatar shuts people up. “Everyone should be able to say what they think. People deserve space to express themselves and they should also be able to disagree with something.”

However, the 22-time Grand Slam winner comments on his statements. “Sport is a good stage for expressing yourself, but in the end, the focus of football players and tennis players should be mainly on the sport itself.”

Nadal was in South America for an exhibition match against Casper Ruud. The Spaniard beat the losing finalist in the ATP Finals 7-5, 6-4. Both tennis players will play in Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte, Quito and Mexico City this year.

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You can follow all the news about the Dutch national team, the World Cup in Qatar and the new tennis season here at Eurosport.

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