ADVERTISEMENT

Qatar offers no security guarantees at the World Cup for LGBTQ+ fans | world cup 2022

ADVERTISEMENT

Qatari authorities have failed to guarantee traveling LGBTQ+ supporters that they will be safe at the World Cup, prompting major organizations to advocate against traveling to the tournament.

The Guardian this week submitted to the Supreme Committee, the body in charge of organizing the World Cup, a series of direct questions related to LGBTQ+ fans and their concerns, but received no specific answers.

Questions included whether:

ADVERTISEMENT

  • LGBTQ+ people would be protected by the Qatari authorities if they were threatened because of their sexuality.

  • Articles of Qatar’s penal code, including those prohibiting “directing, abetting or enticing a man in any way to commit sodomy,” would be suspended during the tournament.

  • Fans carrying rainbow flags will be able to carry them into stadiums.

  • The Supreme Committee would specifically welcome LGBTQ+ people as World Cup visitors.

One blanket response read: “Everyone will be welcome in Qatar in 2022, regardless of race, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality. We are a relatively conservative society; for example, public displays of affection are not part of our culture. We believe in mutual respect and while everyone is welcome, what we expect in return is that everyone respect our culture and traditions.”

The Guardian approached a representative from the Qatari government communications office with the first two of those questions and received no response.

Fears about safety have risen among LGBTQ+ support groups as dialogue with organizers has stalled. Anne Lieberman, a founding member of the LGBTIQ Human Rights Sports Coalition, said the group had been in talks with Qatari authorities for nearly two years, but had yet to receive categorical security guarantees.

“This strongly suggests to us that LGBTIQ people, whatever their role, will not be protected from the state and its repressive anti-LGBTIQ legislation, or other potential risks to their safety,” Lieberman said.

The unwillingness of the Qatari authorities to address concerns directly, or even to mention the term LGBTQ+, has led to a situation where groups are effectively recommending boycotting the tournament.

Lou Englefield, from the organization Football v Homophobia, said: “I am not aware of any European LGBTIQ supporter groups, or individual supporters, currently planning to attend this World Cup. The Supreme Committee’s position is simply not in line with the commitments they should have given to FIFA. How can an international sporting event that expects millions of visitors not be open to reassuring a large minority group that has well-founded fears that they will be safe and welcome? We’ve never seen anything like it.”

FIFA did not comment publicly on the concerns. However, information shared with The Guardian showed that world football’s governing body believed it had received sufficient guarantees from Qatari authorities regarding fan safety and law enforcement. No specific details were shared.

In a letter to the Human Rights Sports Coalition seen by The Guardian, FIFA’s Joyce Cook, then director of social responsibility and education and now senior adviser, said the governing body had “thoroughly assessed the named legal clauses and their implementation in practice.” , including in particular when it comes to LGBTIQ+ people.”

  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play store on Android phones by searching for ‘The Guardian’.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you’re on the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Turn on sport notifications.
  • “,”credit”:””,”pillar”:2}”>

    Fast guide

    How do I sign up for breaking sports news alerts?

    Show

    • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play store on Android phones by searching for ‘The Guardian’.
    • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you have the latest version.
    • In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
    • Turn on sports notifications.

    Thank you for your comments.

    She wrote: “Based on our engagement with the relevant Qatari authorities, and following existing government safeguards and event-specific legislation, as well as our experience of organizing other events in Qatar, FIFA is confident that people who identify as LGBTIQ+ they will not face any repercussion based on the aforementioned legal provisions.”

    LGBTQ+ organizations say the lack of detail and public communication has reinforced concerns. Even the question of whether fans will be able to fly rainbow flags in Doha without repercussions remains unresolved.

    According to Lieberman: “FIFA has had a responsibility from the beginning to ensure that adequate human rights due diligence was carried out, and a positive legacy remains for all, and now we have less than 150 days to fight for basic guarantees. of security”.

    Last Thursday, FIFA published figures showing that 1.8 million tickets have been sold for the World Cup, which starts on November 21. That’s an increase of one million over the previous total and the remaining tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Tuesday. “Fans interested in an unforgettable trip to Qatar are urged to act quickly before the coveted seats are sold out,” FIFA said.

    sniloans