DFB first vice president Peter Peters has travelled with the Germany national team as head of the delegation for the World Cup qualifier against North Macedonia (20:45 CEST). Ahead of the game in Skopje, Peters spoke about qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the situation regarding human rights in the host country.
DFB.de: Peter Peters, you have been in Skopje with the national team since Sunday as the head of the delegation. Germany could secure qualification for next year’s World Cup in Qatar with a win over North Macedonia, providing Armenia fail to win at the same time in Romania. How much are you hoping for a chance to start planning already?
Peter Peters: It would obviously be great if our team could secure a fifth straight win. We will know not to underestimate North Macedonia, they won the reverse fixture in Duisburg and were also at the EUROs in the summer. Tonight we need to back up the recent good results and performances under new coach Hansi Flick. We’ll gladly take a positive result for us in Bucharest at the same time too. However, we know we can only influence our own game, but I cannot deny that the earlier we qualify for the World Cup the better.
DFB.de: What are your thoughts ahead of the World Cup in Qatar next year?
Peters: There’s nothing bigger than qualifying for a World Cup. The aim of the German national team should be to take part in every big tournament and set big goals for all of them too. As a result, I was really pleased to hear our captain Manuel Neuer say that he’d like to be a World Cup winner again. You can only achieve big goals if you set them first.
DFB.de: That means that Germany will participate in the World Cup should they qualify?
Peters: A boycott, as some are demanding, will not benefit the country or its people. That has been confirmed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and independent experts from sport, politics and other areas of society, all of whom we have been in regular contact with for a long time regarding the situation in Qatar. Their opinions, expertise, views and advice are important to us. They have also confirmed that there have been a number of positive developments there in recent years, and that Qatar is a country going through change. Nonetheless, there is still a lot to be done. Together with the whole football family, we want to contribute to these developments and achieve more things there. I think the whole international football family is responsible for following these changes thanks to the integrative power football possesses. We are therefore looking ahead positively, and I have no reason to doubt the honest actions of Qatar.