Human rights activists and LGBT organisations have widely condemned the decision to hold the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, a nation where homosexuality is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. They have also been known to subject individuals to public lashings.
In a broader context, there are also reports that the construction workers building the facilities for the World Cup have been subjected to slave-like working conditions with no pay.
The President of FIFA had initially told gay fans interested in attending the 2022 championship that they “should refrain from any sexual activities.” Although no known cases of this part of the law are publically known, fornication is also punishable by death.
In 2013, Yousouf Mindkar, director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, said that the routine clinical screening of expatriates coming into the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) will include tests to identify LGBT people who will then be banned from entering the country, reports The International Business Times.
Hopeful Of Welcoming Atmosphere
Clarke hopes that engaging with Qatar’s football federation will provide a more welcoming atmosphere. “Since I became chairman 18 months ago, I have spent a lot of time travelling and building relationships in the game,” he stated. “We are building relationships with the Qataris and my aspiration is to ensure that fans attending the 2022 World Cup feel safe and welcome irrespective of gender, ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation.”
During a conference last Wednesday, Clarke discussed that discussing homophobia with the Qatari is complicated but he is hopeful that fans will be able to attend the championship safely.
The next World Cup will help in another state with troubling homophobic issues, Russia.
Some nations have stated that they plan to protest the LGBT oppression in these countries. Dutch MP Richard de Mos has proposed that his country’s team wear all pink while out player Robbie Rogers said he would wear glitter and a tiara if he made the US team.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.