Female football fans risk jail or flogging at World Cup if they are raped in Qatar
FEMALE England fans risk jail or flogging at the World Cup if they are raped in Qatar.
Women at the tournament in November face prosecution if they report offences in the Muslim country.
Qatar’s strict Islamic code outlaws all sexual contact between unmarried couples — and there are 100 prosecutions a year.
Even rape victims have been hauled into court and handed sentences ranging from seven years in jail to flogging.
May Romanos, a Middle East expert at Amnesty International, said: “You go to the police, and instead of being the victim, you become the accused.”
The Detained in Dubai legal aid group has an app to help World Cup fans in trouble.
Director Radha Stirling said: “The UAE has a long history of penalising rape victims.”
Figures show football stadiums in the past have become sex assault hotspots at tournaments.
There were 72 sex attacks reported in Brent, North London, when the Euro 2020 semis and finals were played at Wembley in July last year — while there were 39 cases at the same tournament in Seville, Spain.
A Qatar spokesman said the country “promotes the rights of women, and this extends to all women visiting”.
Fifa said: “Any fan who reports a sexual assault will have access to Qatar’s high-quality healthcare system irrespective of marital status.”