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Arsene Wenger slams Socceroos for speaking out against Qatari regime but praised their World Cup run

Craig Foster lashes out at Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger after he slamthe Socceroos for speaking out against Qatari regime

Legendary coach Arsene Wenger has criticised the Socceroos for taking the Qatari regime’s human rights record to task in a video made prior to the World Cup kicking off – then praising their historic campaign in Qatar.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, who is FIFA’s chief of global football development, slammed teams who have made ‘political demonstrations’ about Qatar’s human rights record and treatment of LGBTQ people.

Legendary coach Arsene Wenger (pictured) has criticised the Socceroos for speaking out against the Qatari regime – before praising their historic World Cup campaign

Speaking at a media briefing at the end of the cup’s group stage, Wenger, 73, suggested that teams taking political stances before the competition failed because they weren’t ‘mentally ready’.

‘You know when you go to a World Cup, you know you can’t lose the first game. The teams who have the experience to perform in tournaments like France and England played well in the first game,’ he said.

‘The teams who were mentally ready, with a mindset to focus on competition, and not the political demonstrations.’

Wenger is believed to have been taking a dig at Germany (pictured covering their mouths as a political protest) and Denmark, who both underperformed at the World Cup and were outspoken beforehand about human rights in the highly conservative Gulf country

Wenger is believed to have been taking a dig at Germany (pictured covering their mouths as a political protest) and Denmark, who both underperformed at the World Cup and were outspoken beforehand about human rights in the highly conservative Gulf country

Wenger is believed to have been taking a dig at Germany and Denmark, who both underperformed at the World Cup and were outspoken beforehand about human rights in the highly conservative Gulf country.

Germany failed to qualify for the knockout stages and suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Japan, while Denmark finished bottom of Group D, behind France, Australia and Tunisia and were knocked out of the tournament.

Wenger has been since slammed for taking a swipe at teams who have expressed unease with Qatar’s human rights record.

The Socceroos made the most publicised and significant political statement of all competing nations by releasing a three-minute video before the tournament that voiced concerns about Qatar's human rights record

The Socceroos made the most publicised and significant political statement of all competing nations by releasing a three-minute video before the tournament that voiced concerns about Qatar’s human rights record

‘Disgraceful comments by Wenger,’ wrote former Socceroo Craig Foster on Twitter.

‘Propagating the FIFA line that athletes shouldn’t stand up for human rights & that a desire for social justice inhibits athletic performance. Human rights aren’t politics, Arsene & values shouldn’t be for sale.’

Writer Daniel Austin echoed Foster’s sentiments, writing on Twitter: ‘Sad to see the depths Wenger has sunk to since he took his FIFA job. 

There’s absolutely no way he thinks Germany were knocked out because they briefly stood up for something they believe in. Another who will do and say whatever he is told to for a few quid. Really pathetic.’

Despite making worldwide headlines and being asked many questions about the video when arriving in Doha, the Socceroos performed at their best and exceeded most expectations

Despite making worldwide headlines and being asked many questions about the video when arriving in Doha, the Socceroos performed at their best and exceeded most expectations

The Socceroos made the most publicised and significant political statement of all competing nations by releasing a three-minute video before the tournament that voiced concerns about Qatar’s human rights record. 

Despite making worldwide headlines and being asked many questions about the video when arriving in Doha, the Socceroos performed at their best and exceeded most expectations.

Wenger acknowledged how well Graham Arnold’s side had done during the briefing, noting the side’s running prowess and ability to maintain structure.

Wenger acknowledged how well Graham Arnold's side had done during the briefing, noting the side's running prowess and ability to maintain structure

Wenger acknowledged how well Graham Arnold’s side had done during the briefing, noting the side’s running prowess and ability to maintain structure

‘We can see how Australia has done so well, they kept their shape all of last night with high-value runners,’ said Wenger.

The Aussies ran a combined 120 kilometres during their group matches – second only to the USA out of all the 32 teams competing in Qatar.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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