LGBTQ+ safety not ensured during World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Concerns raised over possible risk for LGBTQ+ people at Qatar World Cup

  • Support groups issue actions points to Fifa and local organisers
  • They say ‘mechanisms to ensure safety have not been adequate’
Stadium 974, one of eight stadia that will be used at the Qatar World Cup, pictured on Thursday.
Stadium 974, one of eight stadia that will be used at the Qatar World Cup, pictured on Thursday. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

PA Media and Guardian sport, Thu 31 Mar 2022 10.15 BST

Measures to ensure the safety of LGBTQ+ people in Qatar remain inadequate with less than eight months to go to the World Cup, groups supporting the community have said.

Same-sex relationships are directly criminalised under the laws of the Gulf state, leading to concerns over the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people visiting the country for the tournament and those from that community who reside there.

Costa Rica v United States

An international grouping of 16 organisations focused on LGBTQ+ rights has issued eight action points to the tournament organisers Fifa and the local organising committee.

These include repealing laws that target LGBTQ+ people, providing explicit safety guarantees to members of the community, guaranteed right of entry to Qatar, the communication of a clear welcome and of the right to free expression and ensuring there is no censorship or ban on the discussion of LGBTQ+ issues.

The group said in a letter sent to the PA news agency that Fifa had responded in writing but that Qatar’s Supreme Committee, in charge of World Cup delivery, had not yet.

“Progress has been slow, reassurances about the safety of LGBTIQ+ people and the mechanisms in place to ensure safety have not been adequate,” the letter stated. “If acknowledgement of the issues facing LGBTIQ+ people in Qatar and reassurances of safety cannot be offered, we will be forced to question if the risk facing LGBTIQ+ people wanting to attend or work at the World Cup in Qatar is too high.

“Further meetings are planned with both Fifa and the Supreme Committee in the coming weeks where it is hoped progress can be made.”

The letter added that a failure to act in the run-up to the tournament could be viewed as an endorsement of the laws as they stand and make life for LGBTQ+ visitors and residents even tougher in the future.

The groups who co-signed the letter were Athlete Ally, Discover Football, the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Association, the Fare network, the Federation of Gay Games, Football v Homophobia, Hidayah, the International Supporters Council, ILGA World, ILGA Asia, Leap Sports, Pride House International, MantiQitna, Mosaic, Queer Khaleeji and You Can Play.

Nassar al-Khater, the Qatar World Cup chief executive, has previously said: “I would like to assure any fan, of any gender, [sexual] orientation, religion, race to rest assured that Qatar is one of the most safe countries in the world — and they’ll all be welcome here.”

He talked then about “a lot of training going into security personnel” and said: “Public displays of affection is frowned upon, it’s not part of our culture – but that goes across the board to everybody.”

6 thoughts on “LGBTQ+ safety not ensured during World Cup 2022 in Qatar

  1. Yap mostly in Africa Kenya this is Raymond from Uganda a gay and sylum seeker in Kenya Refugee Camp called Kakuma Refugee Camp I ran way from my home country Uganda to seek for safety of my life in Kenya Nairobi where by I got registered with UNHCR KENYA and I was taken to the camp called Kakuma Refugee Camp where I have faced alot of challenges such insecurities on my body aswell i do call for the support aawe thanks

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Since the entire families are celebrating international Dad Against homophobic in the community plz my dear due to the situation iam going with the entire family of lgbtq queer community in Kenya Refugee Camp called Kakuma Refugee plz I would like to have your advocate to safe place thanks

        Liked by 1 person

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