- One problem continues to loom over the first FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the Middle East
- The global flagship kicks off on Sunday, with the rights of the LGBTQ community in Qatar under scrutiny
- Homosexuality outlawed in oil-rich Gulf state, causing rifts with liberals and conservatives
No matter how much FIFA tries to smooth things over, the LGBTQ rights issue in Qatar continues to ripple the excitement of the 2022 World Cup.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state which has caused many political problems in the country and across the planet as the eyes of the world turn to the Middle East.
According to Time, several public figures and celebrities have made it clear that they will not participate in the tournament in protest, either by blatant or conveniently finding other reasons not to travel to Qatar.
FIFA bans the sale of alcohol in World Cup stadiums 48 hours before the start of the tournament in Qatar
British artist Dua Lipa said:
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“I will not perform and have never been involved in any negotiations to perform. I will support England from afar and look forward to visiting Qatar when they have fulfilled all the human rights commitments they made when they won the right to host the World Cup.”
Legendary rocker Rod Steward told the Sunday times that he was offered a million dollars to perform during the world cup but declined citing “ethical reasons”. Prince William was reportedly missing out on the tournament due to a “busy winter schedule”, although if England progress far in the competition, his plans could change.
UK minister tells LGBTQ fans to respect Qatari laws at World Cup
Qatar 2022: A one-off World Cup fantasy
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has been accused of “outrageously deaf” comments after he told LGBT fans heading to the World Cup in Qatar to respect local laws and cultures.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state, where the tournament kicks off Nov. 20, as reported by Short Sports.
He cleverly told LBC Radio:
“One of the things I would say to football fans is, you know, please be respectful of the host nation. They are trying to ensure that people can be themselves and enjoy football, and I think with a little bit of flexibility and compromise from both sides, it can be a safe, secure and exciting World Cup.”