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Female World Cup Official Flees Qatar To Avoid Punishment For Extramarital Sex After Reporting Rape

Ryan Sidle

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| Last updated 

Female World Cup Official Flees Qatar To Avoid Punishment For Extramarital Sex After Reporting Rape

A World Cup official has left Qatar after she faced the prospect of being jailed, and given 100 lashes, for extramarital sex, only after reporting that she'd been raped by a neighbour.

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Mexican Paola Schietekat, who was part of the World Cup organising committee, has written about the ordeal that saw her flee the Middle East.

Writing in Mexican outlet Julio Astillero, the 28-year-old explained how a neighbour had got into her apartment as she slept, in June last year, and raped her.

When she went to the police to report the incident, Schietekat ended up being the one questioned about extramarital sex, with her attacked claiming the pair were in a relationship.

The Mexican wrote, "That night, an acquaintance, whom I considered a friend, got into to my apartment at night, while I was sleeping. 

"I clarify that, in Doha, being one of the safest cities in the world, many people leave their door unlocked and fall on the security of the building. 

"After a brief struggle, as his strength exceeded mine, I ended up on the floor."

She recounted how she had taken pictures of her bruises for proof of what had happened to her, before going to a hotel in fear of her attacker returning.

Qatar's countdown clock to the World Cup. Image: PA Images
Qatar's countdown clock to the World Cup. Image: PA Images

Schietekat then went to get a medical certificate and went to Qatari police to report the incident the previous night. There police asked if she wanted to take out a restraining order on the man, do nothing, or press charges.

"I signed the statement in Arabic and gave the details of the aggressor," she said she did after deciding to press charges.

"Hours later, at nine o'clock at night, they called me on the phone to urgently go to the police station. 

"Puzzled, I asked if it was necessary for a woman who had just been assaulted to go to the police station alone at that hour. His response was that if I didn't go, my complaint would be dismissed.

"When I arrived at the station, the police officers put my assailant in front of me."

Lusail Stadium, where the World Cup final will be held. Image: PA Images
Lusail Stadium, where the World Cup final will be held. Image: PA Images

The attacker claimed that the pair were in a relationship and the police demanded that the World Cup official hand over her phone to prove otherwise, Schietekat added that from there the whole investigation 'centered around the extramarital affair.'

In Qatar that charge can come with up to seven years in prison and also up to 100 lashes.

Whilst she is expected to be sentenced next month, in absentia having returned to Mexico, her attacker was acquitted because, "there were no cameras pointing directly at the door of the apartment, so there was no way to verify that the assault happened."

The former World Cup organiser has had to quit her 'dream' job and flee back home.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football World Cup

Ryan Sidle
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