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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

LGBT Fans Boycott World Cup As FIFA Stays Quiet

  • LGBT soccer fan groups are boycotting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
  • FIFA has been silent regarding the country's alleged treatment of the LGBT community.
FIFA-World-Cup
FIFA

FIFA’s silence is pushing fans away from the 2022 World Cup.

LGBT soccer fan groups are boycotting the tournament — which takes place between Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 — due to FIFA’s stance regarding Qatar’s treatment of the LGBT community. Homosexuality is illegal in the country — and, if prosecuted, Muslims could face the death penalty.

The boycotts follow human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell’s claim that he was arrested after staging an LGBT protest in the country. Human Rights Watch also reported that as recently as September, security forces in Qatar arbitrarily arrested and abused Qataris in the LGBT community.

“I think for some people, the dissatisfaction with FIFA’s decision extends to opting to not watch the World Cup on TV, as a statement of principle,” said Andrew Tilly, a founder of Leeds United’s LGBT+ supporters group.

  • In May, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the tournament is expected to be watched by 5 billion people around the world. The 2018 World Cup in Russia was watched by 3.57 billion viewers.
  • Qatar anticipates around 1.2 million foreign visitors.

Last week, fans were warned by U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to “respect” Qatar despite its LGBT stance.

Deutschland Drama

Nancy Faeser, Germany’s interior minister, received criticism after stating that the hosts of events like the World Cup should be linked to certain criteria, “namely, compliance with human rights and principles of sustainability.” 

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry gave German ambassador Claudius Fischbach an objection memo to express its disappointment and demand clarification.

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