Much still does not leak out from the World Cup host country Qatar. Especially when it comes to issues that are problematic from a western perspective: the restrictions on freedom for migrant workers on the World Cup construction sites, for example. Or Qatar’s attitude towards diversity, gender identities or homosexuality – this too is an important factor if the emirate is to welcome football fans from all over the world in the coming winter.
OK chief Al-Khater: “Homosexuals welcome in Qatar”
Nasser Al-Khater, the chairman of the World Cup organizing committee in Doha and thus something like the chief ambassador of the Qatar World Cup, has now also spoken out on this topic. He also turned to the LGBTQI + movement. LGBTQI + is an abbreviation for Lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer and intersex. They are descriptions for sexual orientations and forms of identities.
Everyone is welcome in Qatar, including homosexuals, said Al-Khater in a “CNN“-Interview. “Nobody is threatened, nobody needs to feel unsafe.“
Australia’s Josh Cavallo: Fear of the World Cup
Al-Khater also commented on Josh Cavallo’s statements. The Australian U20 international, who admitted his homosexuality in October, had a “Guardian“-Podcast known that he was afraid to play at the World Cup in Qatar because of the prohibition of homosexuality in the Gulf state and the strict criminal law.
However, this concern is unfounded, said Qatar’s OC chief: “We welcome him. He’s welcome to come to Qatar and see for himself, even before the World Cup“said Al-Khater on” CNN “on Tuesday (November 30th, 2021).
Perhaps Cavallo has a wrong perception of the country, Al-Khater speculated, due to the many reports that put the World Cup host in a bad light. Qatar is a “tolerant, hospitable country“, so Al-Khater,”a society like any other.”
Homosexuality is a criminal offense in Qatar
At least the last statement makes you sit up and take notice – like one of those dubious promises from the travel catalog, in which the advertised dream hotel turns out to be a shack with a view of the supermarket parking lot.
Homosexuality is still banned by law in Qatar, the punishments include flogging, imprisonment or even the death penalty – although the latter has not yet been carried out, at least according to human rights organizations. Same-sex marriages and partnerships are not recognized in Qatar.
An invitation and a warning
Anyone who is involved in initiatives and actions of the LGBTQI + movement is also liable to prosecution. This could also include showing rainbow flags like at the EM last summer.
Qatar’s tournament director therefore issued his invitation to LGBTQI + tourists with restrictions: Qatar is conservative, which “openly shown affection in public“is concerned, so Al-Khater. Fans have to respect this, and accordingly be cautious. This can then be read like a warning to the address of homosexual World Cup tourists.
Human Rights Watch: Qatar LGBTQI + community oppressed
Organizations such as Human Rights Watch also doubt the propagated cosmopolitanism of the Qatari World Cup hosts. According to data from HRW Members of the LGBTQI + community in Qatar are still being systematically monitored and their exchanges with one another, for example via social media, are suppressed.
Qatar must guarantee freedom of movement and non-discrimination regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, urged Human Rights Watch, for all people in Qatar – and not just World Cup tourists.
TV expert at “beIN Sports” with homophobic statements
How common and widespread homophobia is in Qatar became clear last weekend on “beIN Sports”, the country’s largest sports broadcaster. The former Egyptian international Mohamed Aboutrika, at “beIN Sports” as an expert in action, described homosexuality during a broadcast as unnatural, as the “Guardian” reported.
He also criticized the “Rainbow Lace“-Solidarity campaign in the Premier League and urged the Muslim professionals playing in England to boycott the action. The station only distanced itself from criticism from anti-discrimination organizations in Europe Aboutrikas Statements that he can stay on the station anyway.
Stand: 03.12.2021, 08:16
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World Cup 2022: Qatar and the LGBTQI + movement: invited but not welcome