Gay fans will be welcome to display affection and rainbow flags at the World Cup but the anti-LGBTQ+ laws in Qatar will not be changed.
This is the message from the 2022 World Cup Chief Executive Nasser Al Khater as the Qatar tournament is now only five weeks away.
In a wide-ranging interview with Sky News UK, Al Khater said no visiting LGBTQ+ fan will be discriminated against during the 29-day tournament and that gay fans can hold hands.
“All we ask is for people to be respectful of the culture,” Mr Al Khater said to Sky News.
“At the end of the day, as long as you don’t do anything that harms other people, if you’re not destroying public property, as long as you’re behaving in a way that’s not harmful, then everybody’s welcome and you have nothing to worry about.”
Although the approval for making political statements or wearing multicoloured “One Love” armbands that highlight discrimination is a matter for the Football governing body FIFA, Al Khater has said fans can display rainbow flags.
“From what I understand, there are discussions taking place about the different political messages that are going to be,” Al Khater said.
“This is a sporting tournament that people want to come [to] and enjoy. Turning it into a platform of political statements I don’t think is right for the sport.”
England captain Harry Kane has said this week that he will wear a OneLove armband at the World Cup even if the governing body prohibits it.
Captains from 8 other European teams have also said they will join Kane in wearing them.
Speaking at Tottenham’s pre-match press conference this week ahead of their Champions League match against Eintracht Frankfurt, Kane said: “I think it’s a question that’s hard to answer right now.
“We’ve decided we want to wear it and that’s our thought process going forward.
“It’ll be down to FIFA and the FA – I’m sure they’ll be in contact with them.
“I haven’t heard anything personally yet so at the moment we’re on line to wear it so if anything changes we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”
Last Updated on Oct 13, 2022