Gay Fans Warned Not To Hold Hands At World Cup

An anti-discrimination group is advising gay football supporters to exercise caution if attending World Cup matches in Russia next year.

World Cup Russia Gay

The London-based group called Fare is producing a guide for fans from the black and ethnic minority and LGBT+ communities travelling to the tournament, which begins in June next year

Fare director Piara Powar said that gay people should be cautious anywhere “not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT+ community”.

“If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so? That depends on which city they are in and the time of day,” he said.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993 but prejudice is common and human rights activists allege widespread abuse. A law banning the promotion of homosexuality to minors was introduced in the country in 2013, and there are numerous cases where gay people from foreign countries have been attacked.

Fare has also requested permission from Fifa, on behalf of fans from Britain and Germany, to raise a rainbow flag inside stadiums during the World Cup. Although political displays are banned inside stadiums it is understood Fifa would not consider rainbow flags to fall into that bracket and fans would be welcome to wave them before and during games.

While not commenting on the guide or request, Fifa sais it “has a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination”.

The draw for Russia 2018 takes place in Moscow tomorrow, Friday December 1.

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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