DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) -- The former president of the German soccer federation can continue to refer to Qatar as a "cancerous growth of world football" -- at least until a final ruling by a German court.
A Duesseldorf court ruled Tuesday that Theo Zwanziger was within his right to free speech. But the judge said he wanted more time to study opposing arguments before a final ruling on April 19.
The Qatar Football Association filed a civil lawsuit against Zwanziger after he made the statement in a radio interview in June, calling the description "unacceptable slander and vilification" of Qatar and its citizens.
Zwanziger has argued that he never intended to insult the people of Qatar but to criticize the process which awarded the 2022 World Cup to the gas-rich country.