LGBT+ groups condemn FIFA for “little effort” in addressing World Cup concerns

The LGBT+ community has rallied together to slam the organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Throughout history, football enthusiasts have enjoyed the biggest sporting competition on Earth during the summer. But this year, things are very different.

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The event will take place in Qatar for the first time later in 2022. It has generated many negative headlines. That is because of the appalling human rights issues in the country.

As per Amnesty International, abused migrants have had to build a state of the art stadium. They are not allowed to change jobs. In addition, they can’t leave the country, and have to wait for months to receive payment. This is all while FIFA is making enormous profits. 

Furthermore, the LGBT+ community have concerns for their safety in the Middle Eastern country. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. That has raised questions over how LGBT+ fans, journalists and other media personnel will be treated.

LGBT+ community want a better response from World Cup organisers

Although the competition organisers have stated that this is a ‘World Cup for all’, there are still deep concerns.

Three Lions Pride, Football Supporters Europe, Independent Supporters Council North America and Wales’ Rainbow Wall, and four other LGBT+ fan groups, have blasted FIFA and Qatar for their inability to adequately prove that their safety is guaranteed.

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They said in a statement (quotes via Daily Mirror): “Over the past 18 months, we tried to engage with FIFA and the Qatar Supreme Committee (“SC”) ahead of the World Cup in November and December 2022.

“Our aims were simple: To gain concrete assurances and examples of how LGBT+ fans, players, journalists and staff would be protected in a country that criminalises their existence; To raise concerns regarding human rights in Qatar; To shine a light on the plight of LGBT+ Qataris and those living in Qatar.

“A founding principle of our group is that we should be able to follow our team as our authentic selves wherever we play in the world without fear for our safety and with freedom from persecution. The arguments about whether Qatar should be hosting a World Cup have been well documented.

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“In our conversations with both FIFA and the SC, there has been little effort from organisers to proactively engage around the concerns fans and rights groups have raised. Instead, we have often heard the well-drummed PR line that ‘this is a World Cup for all’.

“Human rights deserve detail not deflection, but all we have unfortunately seen from those in charge is slogans not safety, gaslighting not guarantees, avoidance not action. Simply put, this is not good enough.”

Have any players spoken out?

England captain, Harry Kane, has backed the LGBT+ community in their campaign against the human rights laws in Qatar. On March 22, he joined fellow football captains and players to “shine a light” on the issues in the country.

As per The Mirror, he said: “It is something I will try to do. I think that will send out a bigger and more powerful message. It is part of the responsibility of a team captain. It is important to talk about these things and not just hide away from them.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty