Qatar will admit LGBTI fans to the soccer World Cup in one year … while do not publicly demonstrate your sexual status. That is the crude and despicable conclusion of the statements made by the president of the organizing committee of the tournament, Nasser Al Khater, in an interview with CNN.
Asked about the fear of going to Qatar that he expressed Josh Cavallo, the Australian footballer who made public his homosexuality a few weeks ago, Al Khater declared on English television that he had nothing to fear, since his country is “easygoing and welcoming”. “He is welcome in Qatar and I invite him to come before the World Cup as well,” he assured, guaranteeing the safety of the fans, whatever their sexual condition.
“No one feels threatened or unsafe in Qatar,” he added, refusing to acknowledge that homosexuality is a crime in the country, despite the fact that it is punishable by up to three years in prison, narrowing the difference with other countries to the fact that same-sex marriage has not been legalized.
However, when cross-examined by the journalist, he pointed out that in other countries there is “greater tolerance towards public displays of affection” among LGTBI people: “In Qatar and throughout the region we are a lot more modest and conservative. That is why we ask the fans for respect and we are sure that they will respect this issue. We respect other cultures and we trust other cultures to respect ours. “
This controversy adds to the one that has existed for years with the situation of migrants who work in Qatar to build the stadiums where the World Cup will be played, in which Spain already has a guaranteed presence, as well as other leading teams like France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina …
Just a couple of weeks ago, Amnesty International denounced that Qatar has “paralyzed” the changes it had promised to its labor system, while the “old abusive practices” against migrant labor resurface just one year after the tournament takes place. .
“Qatar is running out of time,” the organization warned according to the report’s results. Reality Check 2021, which warns about the country’s failure to comply with its “promise” to abolish the kafala system (sponsorship-based labor law) and improve the protection of migrant workers, as reported by Europa Press.