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Watford cancel friendly against Qatar’s national side and claim ‘the game was never finalised’

Watford cancels proposed friendly against Qatar national team, claiming ‘the match was never finalized’ – as supporter groups insist they are ‘elated’ the club has reversed the deal

  • Watford has canceled their proposed friendly against the Qatar national team
  • Supporter groups expressed concern over the pre-season arrangement
  • The club has responded, claiming that ‘the match was never completed’
  • Qatar has dubious views on homosexuality, human rights and women’s rights

Watford has called off their proposed friendly against the Qatar national team after supporters expressed concerns about the match.

The Hornets had announced their decision to face the Qataris in July at a preseason training camp in Austria ahead of the 2022-23 championship campaign.

However, supporters were quick to raise issues with the settlement, given the country’s views on homosexuality, human rights and women’s rights.

A joint statement by Proud Hornets and Women of Watford said: “WOW and Proud Hornets are very disappointed that Watford FC will be playing the Qatar national team at its training camp.

“We are urging our team to support all human rights, the LGBT+ community and women’s rights during the competition and will discuss this directly with the club.”

A Watford spokesperson has since said: the athletic : ‘The game never became final and it became abundantly clear that this was a game not to be played; that is why the planning has been revised.’

Watford has canceled their proposed friendly against the Qatar national team

Watford has canceled their proposed friendly against the Qatar national team

After the cancellation, the groups said: “WOW and Proud Hornets are delighted that Watford FC has listened to our concerns and canceled the game with Qatar.

“We look forward to continuing our discussions with the club on all issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Qatar is currently 51st in the FIFA rankings, has been granted the right to host the World Cup in controversial circumstances, has automatically qualified to host the competition and will face the Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador in the group stage.

Supporter groups criticized for arranging friendly against national side (pictured)

Supporter groups criticized for arranging friendly against national side (pictured)

However, the World Cup hosts were humiliated earlier this week by Northern Ireland club Linfield. In an exhibition game in Marbella, Spain on Tuesday night, David Healy’s side defeated Qatar 1-0.

The Hornets, under new manager Rob Edwards, who arrived from Forest Green this summer after Roy Hodgson left the club, will begin their season at Vicarage Road against Sheffield United on August 1.

It follows their relegation from the Premier League last season and the departure of Roy Hodgson as manager.

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