Qatar officials have not been able to guarantee the safety of LGBTQ + fans scheduled to go watch the FIFA World Cup later this year.
FIFA has been accused of choosing Qatar as the venue for the 2010 World Cup for many reasons. These focused primarily on the horrifying treatment of migrant workers and minority groups. According to the Human Dignity Trust, homosexual acts in Qatar can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
The British newspaper The Guardian asked many questions to the Supreme Commission, the organization that hosts the tournament. The questions were mainly focused on what rights LGBTQ+ fans will be entitled to in Qatar and whether the stadium will allow the rainbow flag.
Upon publication’s enquiry, the general response received was, “Everyone will be welcome to Qatar in 2022, regardless of their race, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality. We are a relatively conservative society – for example, public displays of affection are not a part of our culture. We believe in mutual respect and so whilst everyone is welcome, what we expect in return is for everyone to respect our culture and traditions.”
The report also claims that Anne Lieberman, a founding member of the LGBTIQ Human Rights Sports Union, has been in talks with Qatari authorities for over two years. But they haven’t received a concrete answer yet.
She mentioned, “This quite clearly suggests to us that LGBTIQ people, whatever their role, will not be protected from the state and its repressive anti-LGBTIQ legislation, or from other potential risks to their safety.”
Groups Seem to be Boycotting FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Reports LGBTQ+ Campaigner
According to the Guardian report above, football vs. homophobia Lou Englefield claims that minority groups across Europe are boycotting tournaments starting in November.
Englefield states, “I know of no European LGBTIQ supporters’ group, or individual supporters, who are currently planning to attend this World Cup. The position of the Supreme Committee is just not in keeping with the undertakings they must have given to Fifa.”
She further added, “How can an international sporting event which expects millions of visitors not be open to reassuring a large minority group who have well-founded fears that they will be safe and welcome? We have never seen anything like this.”