Soccer  

World Cup 2022: Pride organisations call on bars and venues to not show matches in boycott

Harry Kane wearing a rainbow captain's armband
England captain Harry Kane will wear a ‘One Love’ armband during the World Cup to promote diversity and inclusion

UK Pride organisations have called on bars and venues to not screen World Cup matches in a boycott of the tournament.

Host Qatar has been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, among other human rights concerns.

A Qatar World Cup ambassador was recently criticised after saying homosexuality was “damage in the mind”.

A report by Human Rights Watch said members of the country’s LGBTQ+ community were detained and physically abused by security services.

Manchester Prideexternal-link said a boycott would send a message to Fifa that “the lives of marginalised people are paramount”.

“By choosing to host the World Cup in Qatar, Fifa has demonstrated a complete lack of consideration for LGBTQ+ people,” said the organisation, in unity with Pride In London, Brighton Pride and Birmingham Pride.

“The message Fifa is sending to the world appears to be that they don’t think LGBTQ+ people are, or should be, involved in sport – whether that’s as an athlete or a fan. Furthermore, it seems that they don’t think protecting LGBTQ+ people is something they need to be involved with.

“Even once these issues were brought to light, Fifa has disregarded queer peoples’ needs or didn’t deem them important, and proceeded with Qatar as the host nation.

“As such a huge organisation with massive power and influence, Fifa is in an incredible position to progress LGBTQ+ rights in football and sport, but have completely disregarded LGBTQ+ people – presumably in favour of profits.”

Qatar’s World Cup organisers say that “everyone is welcome” to visit the country to watch the football, and that no-one will be discriminated against.

Peaceful protests have been planned by some players, while England’s Harry Kane and eight other captains of European teams will be wearing ‘One Love’ armbands to promote diversity and inclusion.