Former German striker Sandro Wagner is under fire for a derogatory comment he made about Qatari men’s traditional dress while commentating for television during the World Cup match between Germany and Spain on Sunday.
Wagner was commenting on the teams’ 1–1 draw for German broadcaster ZDF when he said in the 79th minute that he thought one end of the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor was packed with German fans.
“Only then did I realize that these are the robes from Qatar,” Wagner said.
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Wagner was referring to the thaub, the traditional long-sleeved white tunics worn by many men in the region.
Wagner’s comments sparked furious reactions on social media.
ZDF responded to some of the complaints on Twitter with a short statement: “Unfortunately, Sandro Wagner’s comments about the thaub occurred during an emotional phase of the game. He is not allowed (to say that). We’ll talk about it.”
Wagner previously made eight appearances for Germany and played for Bayern Munich among a host of German clubs.
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During the match, Qatari fans protested against the Germany team by covering their mouths while holding photos of former German player Mesut Özil, a target of racist abuse in Germany after the team’s early exit from the World Cup in 2018.