December 5, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10355

Qataris Rejoice Over Germany's Elimination From World Cup: 'The European Trash Is Out Of The Tournament'

December 5, 2022
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 10355

The elimination of the German team from the 2022 FIFA World Cup sparked many expressions of glee in the host country, Qatar. Many messages on Twitter, especially by Qatari journalists, mocked the German team, stating that it had gotten what it deserved for focusing on politics rather than sports. Some of the tweets included pejorative references to the German team, such as "European trash" or "the gay Germans." This rhetoric reflects the tension that has prevailed between Europe, especially Germany, and Qatar due to the criticism voiced in the West regarding Qatar's human rights record and its attitude towards the LGBTQ community.[1]

Hostility towards the German team and expressions of glee over its defeat were heard already at the start of the tournament, after Germany lost its opening match against Japan. In the team photo before the game, the members of the German team covered their mouths with their hands as a gesture of  protest against FIFA's decision to ban players from entering the pitch wearing the 'One Love' armband, expressing solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Furthermore, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser attended the match wearing the armband.[2] Qataris on Twitter rejoiced over the German team's loss, calling it "divine justice" and saying that that Japan had "shut the German's mouths for them." Many on twitter also attacked Nancy Faeser, calling her "Mrs. Garbage" and "loser."

This report presents the Qatari expressions of satisfaction over Germany's defeat in the World Cup.  

Glee At Germany's Elimination From The Tournament: "The Gay Team Is Headed For The Trash Heap Of History"; "Out With You"; "Leave And Don't Come Back"

Mockery of the German team and expressions of satisfaction over its defeat were conspicuous in the Qatari press on December 2, 2022, the day after Germany's elimination from the tournament. The website of the Qatari daily Al-Sharq posted an article headed "Having Lost Its Sports and Moral Credentials, Germany Leaves the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – and the Fans' Hearts – by the Back Door." The article said: "In its opening game against Japan, the German team focused on conveying political messages, and distanced itself from sports and from football to such an extent that the world's football stars, and the masses, yearned for its quick elimination from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and that is indeed what happened… Germany left the World Cup – and the hearts of its fans in the Arab and Muslim world, and perhaps also in many other places – by the back door…"[3] 

An article in the World Cup supplement of the Qatari daily Al-Watan was headed "Cover Your Faces [in Shame]!"[4] 

Article in Qatari daily Al-Watan: "Cover Your Faces [in Shame]!"

The World Cup supplement of the Al-Raya daily featured a piece titled "The Germans Left by the Back Door! The Germans' Behavior Came Back to Bite Them, and the Players Tasted a Bitter Defeat…"[5]

Al-Watan editor Muhammad Hamad Al-Marri noted in an article that "the Arab and Muslim public, and the upholders of morals and values, celebrated with great happiness, joy and even schadenfreude" when Germany was eliminated from the tournament "defeated, bowing its head and covering its face." The German team, he added, was defeated "because it strayed from its course…  involved itself in shameful matters [i.e., LGBTQ rights], found itself defending [the rainbow] colors and forgot that its main task was to defend the colors of its own country!"[6]

As stated, similar sentiments were also expressed by users on Twitter. Maryam Aal Thani, a member of Qatar's ruling family, shared the photo of the German team members with their hands over their mouths, and tweeted "Out with you" with a laughing emoji.[7]

In two other tweets she wrote: "The airport is that way" and "This European trash is out of the World Cup."[8]

After Germany's elimination from the tournament, commentators on the Qatari sports channel Al-Kass mocked the team by placing their hands over their own mouths and waving goodbye.[9]

'Ola Al-Fares, a presenter on Qatar's Al-Jazeera channel, tweeted the image below, with the comment "Airport this way."[10]

Muhammad Sa'adon Al-Kuwari, a presenter on the Qatari BeIN sports channel, tweeted: "It is not our custom to rejoice at others' misfortune, but they [the Germans] fought the Arabs over their legitimate right to host the World Cup. They put football aside and constantly looked for opportunities to criticize the World Cup in Qatar. [So,] even though rejoicing at others' misfortune is not part of our moral makeup, this does not keep us from saying, 'away with you, [head] to the airport.'"[11]

Qatari journalist Fawaz Al-'Ajmi tweeted: "There it goes, the team that covered its mouth and its nose against the fragrance of honor and manliness and wanted to impose same-sex marriage on us. It is going back to its country, Germany, and nobody is sorry [to see it go]. There it will be able to breathe the air it likes… Men will marry men and women will marry women, [but] far away from us. Leave and do not come back."[12]

Qatari journalist Jaber Al-Harmi shared a picture of German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, who both wore the One Love armband to the matches, and tweeted: "Germany and Belgium are out of the World Cup. Thank Allah, Qatar is free of them. May all the homosexuals and their supporters leave [Qatar] soon."[13]

Fahed Al-'Emadi, the manager of Al-Watan's editorial board, tagged the German Interior Minister on a tweet that said: "The Japanese Samurai [the nickname of the Japanese team] has made glorious achievements  and is in the lead… while the gay German team is headed for the trash heap of history."[14]

Qatari journalist Ebtesam Aal Sa'd rejoiced over Germany's defeat in a series of tweets, [15] writing: "Germany totally lost its popularity in the World Cup after turning it into a political event, and all thanks to its interior minister, Nancy Faeser, who started a war and then couldn't escape its flames! Out with you!"; "We must disinfect Zallal, the beautiful and wonderful resort in north [Qatar] where the German team was staying, 70 times with water and 30 times with sand! Yuck!"

An animated TikTok video showing the German team weeping over their elimination from the tournament went viral on social media.[16]

From the TikTok video showing the German team weeping over their elimination from the World Cup

Journalist Mubarak Al-Khayareen, a columnist for the Qatari daily Al-Arab, shared an image of a Japanese football fan picking up trash from the stands after a match, which Al-Khayareen had doctored by placing German and rainbow flags over the trash bag.[17] 

Satisfaction Over Germany's Defeat By Japan: "Divine Justice"

Qatari media figures  expressed glee also over Germany's defeat in its first World Cup game against Japan. Hafid Derradji, a columnist for Qatar's Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily and a commentator on the Qatari sports channel BeIN, tweeted after the match: "Japan punished the Germans for their insolence and taught them a lesson in football and [also] in politeness, sportsmanship and morality, after their disgraceful photo before the match, in which they protested the ban on wearing the pro-LGBT symbol. This is divine justice. We will not give up our values, identity and religion."[18]

Qatari journalist Ebtesam Aal Sa'd shared the German team's group photo and wrote: "You covered your mouths and we will open our mouths in glee. By Allah, I am glad [you lost]."[19]

Qatari journalist Fawaz Al-'Ajmi tweeted: "The Germans wanted to contaminate Qatar's World Cup with homosexuals, but [Qatar's] pure soil has expelled them with their first defeat, against Japan. We hope they will ultimately be eliminated [from the entire tournament]."[20] 

Similar sentiments were expressed in Qatari papers. The Al-Sharq daily's World Cup supplement came out with the headline "Japan Has Shut the German's Mouths," alluding to the German players' gesture of covering their mouths during the team photo. The article stated that Germany's defeat was "the logical [outcome] of its focusing on matters outside the pitch."[21]  

Al-Sharq's World Cup supplement: "Japan Has Shut the German's Mouths"

A cartoon in Al-Sharq mocked Germany's defeat, conveying that it lost the game because it defended gay rights instead of defending its goal.[22]  

Another Al-Sharq cartoon showed Japan painfully smacking Germany.[23]

Cartoon in Qatari daily Al-Sharq, December 3, 2022.

Harsh Personal Attack On German Interior Minister: "Mrs. Garbage," "Loser"

Another target for attacks was Germany's Interior Minister Nancy  Faeser, who attended the match against Japan wearing the One Love armband, and also posted a photo of this on her Twitter page, eliciting many angry responses from Qatari journalists on Twitter. Ebtesam Aal Sa'd tagged Faeser on a series of pejorative tweets. [24]  In one of them she shared a cartoon by Al-Sharq cartoonist Muhammad 'Abd Al-Latif that shows the armband on Faeser's arm as a reeking garbage can, and commented in English: "Do you see this, Mrs. Garbage?!"   

In another tweet she shared a photo of Japanese fans (whom she misidentified as the Japanese team players) mocking the Germans' gesture by covering their own mouths with their hands, and wrote: "Players of 'Samurai' [the nickname of Japanese team] mocking the players of the broken down German Machine [the nickname of the German team]." She added in English: "Look at the Japanese players, Mrs. Loser."

In yet another tweet she posted a picture of the Nazi flag and wrote: "What would happen if one of us showed up for a World Cup [tournament] in Europe carrying this symbol?! Aren't we free to do this, too?!"

Qatari journalist Ahmed 'Ali, formerly the director-general of the Al-Watan daily, tweeted the photo of Faeser wearing the armband, and wrote: "Aren't you ashamed? You behave outside your country like a teenager spreading slogans of 'perverted love' that is at odds with religion and morality. As Interior Minister you are expected to act against the crimes of discrimination and racist violence and hatred that are rampant in your country, whose society cultivates neo-Nazis and which suffers from lack of security."[25] The manager of Al-Watan's editorial board, Fahed Al-'Emadi, also commented on the picture tweeted by Faeser, writing in English: "This is the height of indignity and disrespect for laws, and indicates your lack of morals."[26]

Qatari journalist Jaber Al-Harmi commented on the same picture: "That is their level,  moral degeneracy… Expect [to witness] the demise of nations with such morals."[27] In another tweet he tagged the German minister and called for attorneys and legal firms to file a lawsuit against her for "violating Qatar's penal code and the terms and conditions for entering the World Cup stadiums in Qatar."[28]

Al-Arab columnist Mubarak Al-Khayareen shared photos of Faeser and of the Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, who likewise wore the One Love armband to a match in Qatar, and wrote in English: "This won't benefit you, you are destroying the humanity values while we protect them with our religion and true humanity in this big occasion."[29]

Ahmed Bin Khalifa Al-Bina'li, who ran for the Qatari parliament last year, also shared the pictures of the two ministers, and wrote: "Yesterday it was the German Interior Minister and today it's the Belgian Foreign Minister [displaying] the utmost arrogance, insolence and callousness in the stands at the 2022 World Cup by defying Qatar's laws and the tradition of the Qatari people and of all the Arab peoples!! I believe it is time to take severe and firm penal measures against this gang!"[30]



[2] Faeser angered the Qataris even before the start of the tournament by stating that countries that do not respect human rights should not be allowed to host the World Cup. See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1666 - As World Cup Approaches, Qatar Rejects Western Criticism Of Its Human Rights Record, Hits Back With Accusations Of Its Own – November 8, 2022. Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib likewise wore the armband to one of the matches.

[3], December 2, 2022.

[4]  Al-Watan (Qatar), December 2, 2022.

[5] Al-Raya (Qatar), December 3, 2022.

[6] Al-Watan (Qatar), December 3, 2022.

[7], December 1, 2022.

[8], December 1, 2022.

[9], December 2, 2022.

[10], December 1, 2022.

[11], December 1, 2022.

[12], December 1, 2022.

[13], December 1, 2022.

[14], December 1, 2022.

[15], December 1, 2022.

[16], December 2, 2022. Ebtesam Aal Sa'd shared this video as well., December 2, 2022.

[17], December 1, 2022.

[18], November 23, 2022.

[19], November 23, 2022.

[20], November 23, 2022.

[21]  Al-Sharq (Qatar), November 24, 2022.

[22]  Al-Sharq (Qatar), November 24, 2022.

[23] Al-Sharq (Qatar), December 3, 2022.

[24], November 23, 2022.

[25], November 23, 2022.

[26], November 23, 2022.

[26], November 23, 2022.

[28], November 24, 2022.

[29], November 24, 2022.

[30], November 24, 2022.

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