Andy Murray has claimed it is not “the responsibility” of footballers to decide about playing the World Cup in Qatar. Fans in stadiums across Germany this weekend called for boycotts of the upcoming tournament.
Borussia Dortmund fans on the club’s yellow wall unveiled a banner saying ‘BOYCOTT QATAR 2022’ alongside a banner saying ‘more dead than minutes of play’.
Double Wimbledon champion Murray has rejected offers to play money-spinning exhibition matches in Saudi Arabia over concerns about human rights in the gulf state.
But the Scot, now 35, has played the ATP event six times in Doha – and twice won the title.
So asked on Sky News if he had advice to World Cup footballers preparing to go to Qatar, Murray said: “That is a difficult question. I have also competed and played tournaments in Doha, in Qatar that are on our Tour.
‘For turning up and playing a match, if you are a former No 1 player in the world, in the Middle East you could potentially earn $1 million to $2 million.”
World No.46 Murray was speaking at Westfield Shopping Centre in West London at an open day for padel – the indoor racquet sport which combines tennis and squash – and his company Game4Padel. I think it is really important for athletes as they are coming to the ends of their careers to make plans for the future and be involved in other things that interest them,” he said.
Murray has also invested in Castore which makes the kits for the England cricket team, Newcastle and Glasgow Rangers.
Asked if he is as demanding of his businesses as he is of himself on the tennis court, the former world No.1 said: “I wouldn’t say so right now because I am spending so much time still on my tennis career.
I have a team of people that help advise me in terms of what I should be doing with my investments and how they are going. Certainly when I have finished playing, it is something I will take more interest in and will spend more time looking into. I hope I would be demanding.
“It is important to try to strive to always be better and keep improving. I think I am not the most intelligent person in the world, I don’t have an amazing education but I do think that some of the skills that you pick up from playing professional sport does transfer to certain businesses as well. I think it is something that will help me my business interests in future.”