DUESSELDORF, Germany – A court has dismissed a complaint from Qatar against a former German soccer federation president who called the Emirate a "cancerous growth of world football."
Duesseldorf's regional court ruled Tuesday that Theo Zwanziger was within his right to free speech, confirming a preliminary ruling in February.
The Qatari soccer association had filed a civil lawsuit against Zwanziger after he made the statement in June, calling the description "unacceptable slander and vilification" of Qatar and its citizens.
Zwanziger argued he never intended to insult the people of Qatar but wanted to criticize the FIFA process which awarded the 2022 World Cup to the gas-rich country.
The Qatari soccer association sought 100,000 euros ($109,000) in damages and a court order for Zwanziger not to make such comments in the future.