Qatar World Cup chief has slammed Jurgen Klinsmann remarks about Iran, accusing him of making ‘racist’ comments.

Iran PressMiddle East: Klinsmann, former Germany, and the former USA manager created controversy on Friday when he spoke to BBC following a match between Wales and Iran, which the latter won. 

He accused Iran of gamesmanship during the competition, saying “That’s their culture and that’s their way of doing it and that’s why Carlos Queiroz, he fits really well in the Iranian national team.”

“This is not by coincidence, this is all purposely. This is just part of their culture, that’s how they play it and they work the referee... constantly in their ears, they’re constantly in your face on the field. There were a lot of incidents we didn’t see,” Klinsmann added in his analysis of the match Iran won against Wales 2-0.

Iran and manager Carlos Queiroz were left outraged and issued scathing statements calling for him to resign from his role in FIFA’s Technical Study Group.

His comments drew strong criticism on Monday from Hassan Al-Thawadi who is the secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy of the Qatar World Cup.

He said that during the match between Iran and Wales, “Iran played very good.”

“And yet the coverage that we saw on BBC by Jurgen Klinsmann talking about their culture and reflecting the players in a way that was… I don’t like using the word, I will use it only once because I don’t want to give power to the word, it was very elitist, orientalist and racist to a certain extent,” Al-Thawadi said in an interview with talkSPORT.

“I’ll say it this way: you look at what is happening and you say it is part of their culture, what do you mean by that? Are you saying it was misunderstood? He was representing a culture in a negative way,” he added.

Al-Thawadi also criticized BBC presenter Gary Lineker for his comments on the human rights situation in Qatar.

The country’s World Cup official said: “The most important element about this is breaking down misconceptions and stereotypes that people have – which means they need to engage. The reason is because it is a platform that gives you the opportunity to engage. People like Roy [Keane] and Gary [Lineker], or whoever else, there was no engagement.”


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