Gay people are “welcome” at 2022 World Cup – despite criminalization of homosexuality

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, but according to a FIFA official, LGBT people are more than welcome in his country. However, it was emphasized that LGBT+ visitors are expected to respect local customs.
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According to FIFA official Nasser al-Khater, all LGBT+ people are welcome to attend the Football World Cup 2022 in Qatar without having to worry about their safety: "I would like to assure any fan, of any gender, (sexual) orientation, religion, race to rest assured that Qatar is one of the most safe countries in the world – and they'll all be welcome here,"

Visitors are expected to keep certain cultural difference into account however. "Public displays of affection is frowned upon, it's not part of our culture -- but that goes across the board to everybody," Khater said. He stressed that visitors would have to respect Qatari customs.

Despite this, the World Cup organisation of the Gulf State wants to ensure the visitors that they will be able to walk around safely. Khater expects over a million fans to visit the country during the World Cup. "There's a lot of training going into security personnel to make sure that things that are culturally different are seen in that frame."

LGBT-rights are a controversial matter in the country. Homosexuality is still illegal in the country while the law surrounding transgender people is unclear and people tend to avoid the topic altogether. In 2010, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said gay people should "refrain from sexual activity" if they would like to go to the World Cup. His statements were widely criticized by LGBT rights organisations.


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