Qatar World Cup chiefs give assurances gay fans will NOT be persecuted in country after showdown talks with FA


QATARI World cup chiefs have given assurances that gay fans will not be persecuted when they visit the country in November.

A Uefa working party, including FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, travelled to Doha for a third scoping visit.

World Cup chiefs from Qatar have provided assurances gay fans will not be persecutedCredit: Getty – Contributor
The 2022 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar this coming winter

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The 2022 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar this coming winterCredit: AFP

Bullingham has already revealed the 13 European teams taking part are looking to agree a specific unified stance including “any symbolic gesture that we collectively would like to make”.

That is likely to see messages backing human rights on training tops for all the European sides in action.

But the working party, headed by Italian Michele Uva – Uefa’s head of social responsibility – sought guarantees over the treatment of gay fans heading to the conservative Gulf state.

There have been suggestions that hotels might  prevent gay couples from sharing rooms but Uefa said: “LGBTQI+ rights were discussed at length.

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“Assurances were provided regarding fans being safely welcomed with rainbow flags, in line with previous statements welcoming everyone to Qatar and ensuring local culture and customs are respected. 

“The group questioned whether hotels’ personnel was briefed about the need to accommodate all guests without discrimination and obtained assurances that this was the case.”

Uefa added that meetings had been held with a number of agencies including Qatar’s ruling Supreme Committee and the country’s FA as well as human rights organisations.

Migrant workers told the Uefa group that they still needed additional legal support, shelters for abused workers and translation services to fill in official forms and access to information on rights.

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Uefa said: “Progress has been made but it was clear from individual experiences that more awareness of the new laws is needed across both workers and employers.”

Qatari authorities, though, declined to accede to requests for a new programme of compensation for migrant workers – around 1.8m of the total 2.1m population – injured or killed although “they are currently looking into compensation mechanisms”.

But Uefa maintained: “The visit reinforced that changes are taking place and acknowledged that the World Cup has accelerated change in a positive way. 

“However, the discussions emphasised the need for comprehensive efforts, both before and after the World Cup, to ensure that football continues to serve as a positive catalyst for change.

“The remaining months before the tournament present further opportunities for important and necessary changes.”





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