updated: FIFA wants LGBT fans to put themselves at risk

Post updated§

The FIFA World Cup is not coming to England. No, it is going to Russia in 2018, and to Qatar in 2022? Is there much for me to celebrate in this?

Let’s look at Russia?

ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference adopted a declaration against homophobic/transphobic attack in Russia

Declaration of the 14th ILGA-Europe conference with regard to attack on LGBT activists in Russia*

ILGA-Europe logo

On October 30, in Tomsk three activists of the local branch of the Russian LGBT Network were attacked while disctributing leaflets to people in the streets with the call or tolerance toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. They were attacked by a group of nine people in the masks. In the results of harsh beating all three activists were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. We draw a particular attention to the fact that the attack took place very close to the police station, but the police officers did not interfere.

This attack is is an ugly act of violence against human rights defenders that cannot be excused. We express our solidarity with the LGBT activists in Tomsk and also with everyone who is under the risk standing for the society free from prejudices and and injustice in Russia.

ILGA-Europe addresses the Russian authorities to publicly condemn agressive homophobia and transphobia. We demand immediate and just investigation of the attack on the LGBT activsts and adoption of efficent measures for guaranteeing safety of human rights defenders.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s advice for travellers to Russia states:

Foreign & Commonwealth Office logoHomosexuality is legal in Russia and there is a reasonably tolerant attitude to homosexuality in major urban areas. However, be careful about public displays of affection as there is still a degree of intolerance amongst some sections of the population.

Let’s look at Qatar

US Department of Homeland SecurityIn 1996, the U.S. Department of State reported that an American citizen in Qatar was sentenced to six months imprisonment and 90 lashes for homosexual activity. The individual and his family rejected a pretrial offer of expulsion in lieu of the imprisonment and lashes because the individual hoped to be able to return to Qatar.

The sentence was carried out on June 6 [1995]. A physician was present and the prisoner completed the ordeal bruised but in good health. He was released from Central Prison on July 22 [1995] and departed Qatar (March 1996).†

FIFA expects fans to go there?

It seems that FIFA has no problem in asking fans to go to each of these countries. Will FIFA be able to guarantee the safety of LGBT fans from any country that go to support their home nation.

If LGBT fans go to Russia at least they won’t be criminalised. If they go to Qatar they risk being imprisoned for up to five years or being lashed.

What will happen if LGBT fans visit the 2022 World Cup?

  • Are we to leave our partners behind?
  • If we don’t, are we to sleep in separate beds, rooms, hotels, or cities?
  • If in celebrating a goal or victory we forget where we are, and we get over affectionate even for just a fleeting second, in full view of a policeman, are we okay?
  • What will we do if we turn up married or civil partners, and our passports say so, or wearing matching rings?
  • Would we get lifted and carted off to prison as we arrive?

Russia may have a deeply homophobic society.

Qatar is worse: Qatar is a gay criminalising nation.

What can we do?

  1. We can write to our own national Football Associations asking them not to take part in the Qatar World Cup unless and until the human rights abuses in Qatar are stopped. Addresses below.
  2. We can write to our own governments asking them to put pressure on Qatar at the United Nations to rectify the human rights abuses in Qatar.
  3. Join the Gay Football Supporters Network
  4. We can write to the Embassy of Qatar about our concerns.Write to: His Excellency The Ambassador of Qatar, The Embassy of Qatar, 1 South Audley Street, LONDON. W1K 1NB

What is being said in Qatar?

Thank you for believing in change, thank you for believing in expanding the game, thank you for giving Qatar the chance,

You will be proud of us and you will be proud of the Middle East, I promise you this.

Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

Let’s challenge the Emir on this. Does he really mean change? I don’t think so.


Irish FA logoThe [English] FA logoScottish FA logoFA of Wales LogoFootball Association of Ireland (Éire) logo

The Irish Football Association
20 Windsor Avenue

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9066 9458

The Football Association
Wembley Stadium
PO Box 1966

The Scottish Football Association
Hampden Park,
G42 9AY

Tel: +44 (0) 141 616 600

Cymdeithas Bel-droed Cymru / Football Association of Wales
11 / 12 Nepture Court
Vanguard Way
CF24 5PJ

Football Association of Ireland
National Sports Campus
Dublin, 15,


§ Post updated at 13.45 on 3 December 2010 at suggestion of The Penny Drops

* ILGA-Europe, ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference adopts declaration on homophobic/transphobic attack in Russia, 31 October 2010, available at: http://www.ilga-europe.org/home/news/latest_news/ilga_europe_s_annual_conference_adopts_declaration_on_homophobic_transphobic_attack_in_russia [accessed 3 December 2010].

† United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Qatar: Information on Homosexuals , 8 May 2001, QAT01001.ZAR, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3deceae24.html [accessed 3 December 2010]

2 thoughts on “updated: FIFA wants LGBT fans to put themselves at risk

  1. All the money that was due to be put into hosting the world cup sholud now be put into grassroots football and developng the players of the future. We need to turn this country back into a powerhouse of world football, yes the premier league is fantastic but only due to all the money and the foreign players. Lets invest some big money into developing our own kids so that we can realistically challenge for world cups in the future.

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