FIFA World Cup 2022 host Qatar recently said that football fans belonging to the LGBTQ community are welcome to watch world cup football matches despite the country making homosexuality an offence. According to reports, the chief executive of the FIFA World Cup said that people irrespective of their religion, gender, race or sexual orientation will be welcome to Qatar. He also said that public display of affection will not be appreciated as it is against their culture, adding that it was same from everyone.
According to reports, there are no open queer places in Doha but there are a few bars that are friendly towards members of the LGBT community, attracting people from the airline and hospitality industry. A queer barman living in the Muslim country said that Qatar is a place where homosexuality is frowned upon and gay people are still not recognised. He was of the opinion that Qatar is not ready for such a transition yet.
According to reports, organisers of the tournament went to England in order to meet Premier League club Liverpool's LGBT supporters' club, Kop Outs. The founder of Kop Outs, Paul Amann, said that he went to the capital city of Doha along with his husband on the invitation he received from the World Cup organisers.
Talking to an international media outlet, Amann said that he was happy with the way Qatar approached the situation and welcomed everyone. He also said that it was not a surety that rainbow-coloured flags will ever be accepted in the country but maybe in football stadiums. The founder of Kop Outs also said that there is no need to be scared as people will not interfere in one's personal space.
Liverpool's LGBT supporters' club Kop Outs enjoys a strength of 150 members and has thousands of followers on social media. However, it not known that how many fans belonging to the LGBT community will attend the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Amann said that if people follow the no PDA rule then there was necessarily no chance to be subject to any sort of a problem.
There are no male players who have come out in the English Premier League but a host of clubs have condemned homophobia and have implemented zero-tolerance policies for the same. The clubs have also accepted the "rainbow laces campaign against discrimination''. However, LGBT players are well represented in the women's Premier League game with the best example being former England captain and defender Casey Stoney.
(With inputs from agencies)