2022 World Cup

World Cup protesters storm TV show

December 12, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Two half-naked activists from protest group Femen stormed a TV talk show on Wednesday to voice their disapproval of the 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar.

The talk show named after the host Markus Lanz was broadcast directly after the Wednesday night Champions League programming by German television network ZDF.

Halfway through the show, which included former Bayern Munich player Thomas Strunz and former Bayern coach Giovanni Trapattoni as guests, two women ran on stage, with footballs drawn over their chests. "Blood & games" and "don’t play with human rights" were written on the stomachs.

The pair jumped up and down, shouting "Boycott, FIFA, Mafia!", with the guests seemingly baffled by the unexpected protest. After a couple of seconds the protesters were guided out of the studio, with Lanz intervening, asking security to not throw them out.

The women were accompanied by two men, one of whom was questioned about the motives behind the protest by Lanz.

"In a couple of years the World Cup will be staged in Qatar, and workers there are treated like slaves," the man said, and urged FIFA to either pressure the country or not stage the World Cup there at all.

While the audience applauded, Lanz said: "OK, got the message. You had your chance. Thank you very much."

Once seated again, he added: "Well, those conditions are not unknown. Having said this, we are here to talk about the Champions League tonight."

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the conditions for workers on the tournament’s construction sites have been a major issue in recent months.

Despite heavy criticism of Qatar, FIFA has vowed to go ahead with their plans to stage the competition there.

Femen is a feminist protest group that was founded in Ukraine in 2008 and has several international branches. The organisation describes itself as "fighting patriarchy in its three manifestations -- sexual exploitation of women, dictatorship and religion."

In August 2013, Femen shut down its office in Ukraine, since it feared for its member's lives and freedom under the current Ukraine government. It currently operate out of Paris. 

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