LGBTQ World Cup Fans Fear Prison For Kissing In Qatar

members The LGBTQ community fears they could be arrested and even jailed if they kiss while attending the World Cup in Qatar later this month, a particularly problematic venue for the usually bacchanalian sporting event chosen after a massive bribery scandal.

Britain is worried about potential problems and is sending a special team of “engagement officers” to protect fans from Qatar’s overzealous police.

Homosexuality is illegal in the country and punishable by death, according to the Human Dignity Trust, a global advocacy group for LGBTQ rights.

But public displays of affection are frowned upon even by heterosexuals, and women are expected to dress modestly and associate with husbands, not lovers. News reports that women who go to the police about sexual violence can be flogged for engaging in illegal sex.

Alcohol use has been restricted in Qatar, significantly affecting another aspect of the typical World Cup fan experience.

Limited consumption of alcohol is permitted in some areas during the World Cup. But fans are strictly prohibited from bringing alcohol into the country. ESPN reports that “special measures” are in place to take action against anyone trying to carry alcohol in their luggage.

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A Qatari official recently offered some reassurances for the European LGBTQ community. “Handholding” may be allowed in public, but Qatar’s ambassador to the UK, Fahad bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, could not guarantee anything more would be acceptable in a Times of London radio interview.

“I think Qatar has to be mindful of the norms and cultures of society,” he warned, wrongly suggesting that public displays of affection were also illegal in Britain.

Conservative UK Foreign Secretary James cleverly launched a massive attack last month after telling soccer fans to “be respectful” of Qatar’s anti-LGBTQ culture if they attend the World Cup. A spokesman for new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak angrily responded that no fan should be expected to “compromise who they are”.

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According to a summary of the agreements seen by The Guardian, many involved European officials have tried to persuade Qatari law enforcement to adopt their usual fan behavior. .

LGBTQ fans should also be allowed to wave Pride flags in public. But it remains to be seen what will happen in the actual practice that millions of fans are looking forward to.

An official from Qatar’s state communications office told NBC News last month that fans are “free to express themselves” – but expected to “respect local values ​​and culture”.

A major indication of Qatar’s problematic choice to host the World Cup after officials at FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, were bribed, is a major indication of the massive culture clash.

When it was selected in 2010, the nation had no football heritage, no stadiums capable of hosting international-level matches, and the weather during the regular season of the tournament was so hot that football league schedules around the world had to be moved up to accommodate Qatar’s weather.

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The most basic concerns were to reward a country with egregious human rights abuses, particularly involving migrant workers who run the nation. Thousands of migrant workers have died in Qatar over the past 10 years, many of them from construction accidents – or heat exhaustion – on World Cup-related projects.

In a shocking example of the nation’s arbitrary sexism, several women on a Qatar Airways flight to Sydney, including citizens of Australia, New Zealand and Britain, were pulled off the plane and subjected to forced vaginal examinations at gunpoint in October 2020. The newborn was found abandoned at the airport. Abandoned newborns are a problem in the country, and women who get pregnant out of wedlock are jailed.


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