Qatar has failed to ensure safety for the LGBTQIA+ fans who are planning to attend the FIFA World Cup 2022, scheduled to be held in the month of November. As a result, the leading LGBTQIA+ organisations are advocating against travelling to the Arab country for the tournament. Homosexuality is illegal and punishable in Qatar. As per the laws, homosexuality can lead to three years of prison imprisonment and, in some cases, even a death penalty.
Amid the preparations for the World Cup in a highly conservative environment, The Guardian presented a set of questions to the organising committee in Qatar, raising concerns for the LGBTQIA+ community. These questions focused on the possible discrimination on the basis of sexuality, accommodation in hotels, and other allowances. The authorities failed to give a satisfactory response.
Instead, a general response was issued that read, “Everyone will be welcome to Qatar in 2022, regardless of their race, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality. We are a relatively conservative society – for example, public displays of affection are not a part of our culture. We believe in mutual respect and so whilst everyone is welcome, what we expect in return for everyone to respect our culture and traditions.”
FIFA, last month, had issued an advisory directing the hotels listed on the official list of recommended accommodations to welcome their guests without discrimination or it will result in termination of contracts. “Hotels, as well as any other service provider associated with the FIFA World Cup, who fail to comply with the high standards set by the organisers, will have their contracts terminated,” the official statement read, as reported by the wires.
According to a recent survey conducted by Scandinavian media showed out of the total 69 hotels on FIFA’s list of recommended accommodation, three were against allowing entry to same-sex couples. Twenty hotels allowed accommodation but on a condition that the couples will not publicly show that they are gay. Other hotels had no issues providing accommodation to the LGBTQIA+ community.
It has been roughly two years since discussions regarding the safety of the LGBTQIA+ have been taking place. The Qatari authorities are yet to provide categorical safety assurances in the matter.