Hans-Dieter Flick declared his unease with the World Cup in Qatar, believing there should be more stringent criteria for potential hosts of global sporting events.
The German national team coach made note of public sentiment, adding that while prioritisation of the bottom line for global sporting bodies comes at a cost, they can protect themselves from it with a more discerning framework.
“It can’t always be about the money,” Flick told German magazine Stern. “We recently had a World Cup in Russia, the Winter Olympics in Beijing, and the World Cup in Qatar in November – and there was always great criticism.
“That’s why I say – we have to think about the country in which we are going to hold sporting events sooner and define even more binding criteria for this.”
On whether Germany will boycott from a World Cup in Qatar though, with die Mannschaft having already qualified, Flick questioned its benefit.
“It wouldn’t help the people in Qatar,” he said. “We want to take part and then send out signals. I think that’s more effective.
“For many athletes a World Cup is a career highlight. That would be taken away from them with a boycott.
From a standpoint of symbolism however, the 57-year-old believes armed conflict in Ukraine provides sufficient reason for Russia to be banned from sporting competition.
“I think such measures are right as a symbol, but I don’t think Putin is going to be impressed by this,” Flick said.
“So far, even economic sanctions haven’t been able to stop him. I feel sorry for the athletes who are now being banned from the competitions. Because it’s Putin’s war, not their war, but there is no other option at the moment.”
The upcoming international window will see Germany host Israel on Saturday, before travelling to Amsterdam to face the Netherlands next Tuesday.
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