Theo Zwanziger may continue to call Qatar as the “cancer of world football”.
The former president of the DFB German football federation at least gained a temporary victory in his legal dispute with the Qatar Football Association before the Düsseldorf Regional Court. Although the term “cancer” was a massively derogatory insult, the court found that with it, Zwanziger had criticized the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. This criticisms had been in the foreground, not the public defamation.
As a result, the statement was covered by the basic right to freedom of speech and was not a defamatory statement. The lawyers of the Qatar Football Association have immediately announced to enter an appeal against the judgment of the Court. At the hearing in early February, Qatar’s lawyer, the former CSU politician Peter Gauweiler, had argued that, with his criticism, Zwanziger had only wanted to divert attention from his own wrongdoing: “Everything did not start with Qatar.” But the court found there was nothing to support this view.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.