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No Safety Guarantees For LGBTQ+ Fans Travelling To Qatar For World Cup

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No Safety Guarantees For LGBTQ+ Fans Travelling To Qatar For World Cup

Qatar has failed to ensure that LGBTQ+ fans travelling to the country for the World Cup will be safe, leading organisations have advocated against travel to the tournament. 

According to The Guardian, questions were asked to the Supreme Committee, the body that is leading the organisation of the 2022 World Cup, but no specific answers were given. 

The questions posed to the Supreme Committee included whether: 

  • LGBTQ+ people would be protected by Qatari authorities if threatened because of their sexuality.
  • Articles of the Qatari penal code, including those which outlaw “leading, instigating or seducing a male in any way to commit sodomy”, would be suspended during the tournament.
  • Fans carrying rainbow flags would be allowed to take them into stadiums.
  • The Supreme Committee would specifically welcome LGBTQ+ people as World Cup visitors.
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A reply from the committee said: “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.”

There have been major concerns over the safety of LGBTQ+ fans that are travelling to Qatar for the tournament, conversations between the organisers and LGBTQ+ supporters groups have hit stalemate. 

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As a result of the Qatar officials’ reluctancy to comment directly about the issues regarding LGBTQ+ fans, the supporters groups are advising the fans to boycott the tournament. 

Lou Englefield, who is part of Football v Homophobia has said: “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. 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.”

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The World Cup in Qatar is due to get underway in November.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football World Cup, Qatar, FIFA, Football

Marcus Chan
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