Qatar may allow LGBTQ flags, protests during World Cup: report
Qatar would accept rainbow-themed flags on the pitch during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to a report in The Guardian. And, as is increasingly the case in the Gulf, Qatar could be accused of tolerating and sponsoring violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
The Guardian says that the decision to include the gay slogans in the team kit would be Qatar’s first attempt at the World Cup.
Citing sources within the Qatari government, the outlet said that the decision has not been made official so as not to antagonize its Asian neighbours. FIFA rules generally allow gay slogans in team kits but require the decision to be made at the highest political levels and be backed by the host country.
“There’s been a lot of political debate in the Gulf on the need for gay rights and the World Cup. For Qatar it’s a very symbolic vote,” Alex Christoforou, the editor of The Independent’s City Lens, told the outlet.
“The World Cup is in itself a political statement, the country wants to appear democratic. On the other hand, in light of the Gulf’s past history as a hub for violence against gay people, I’m very concerned that the Qatari government could end up as a ‘safe space’ for violence against LGBT people.”