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No gay sex for soccer fans at the 2022 World Cup

Sheikha Moza, wife of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad stands next to FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

When the The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced that the 2022 World Cup would be held in the Middle Eastern country Qatar gay soccer/football fans were not only upset but angry, announcing boycotts and talking of protests.

Homosexuality is illegal in the tiny Middle Eastern country — reports indicate that Qatar residents who are caught engaged in gay sex receive the death penalty. The punishment for foreigners, while not fatal, is also severe: in 1995, an American citizen was sentenced to six months in prison and 90 lashes for violating Qatar’s taboo against homosexuality.

In answer to many of these concerns FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Monday that homosexuals “should refrain from any sexual activities” while attending the 2022 World Cup continuing with, “[gays who] want to watch a match somewhere in Qatar in 2022, I’m sure they will be admitted to such matches.”

Several gay rights groups have come out, not only against the games but against Blatter’s flippant comments concerning basic human rights. John Amaechi, a former NBA player who came out in 2007, says that through Blatter’s comments “FIFA has endorsed the marginalization of LGBT people around the world.”

Although some argue that bringing the games to Qatar will help change their cultural attitudes towards gays, alcohol, and women, most believe this is an incredibly naive belief in a state where Sharia law is part of their constitution.

Check out the video below to see Blatter so blithely joking that gays and lesbians should refrain from sex as if it were as unimportant as having one less beer. (Would soccer fans put up with that?)

8 comments to No gay sex for soccer fans at the 2022 World Cup

  • Hmm… Ok so I have LGBT relatives and at the same time have muslim friends and so my opinion would be that people need to be sensitive to the local culture and laws of that region. Just like we expect people of different walks of life to follow our laws here in america and adapt to our culture we cannot force cultural changes or try to change the belief system of a country to match our own.

    I believe strongly in an individuals right to choose and at the same time I also believe in the concept of majority wins…. in Qatar the religion is Islam and their culture is based on that style of living so homosexuality is not allowed there? Who is anyone to tell them to change their laws and culture? I really don’t want to come off homophobic or supportive of any government that would suppress sexual preference or any other common rights but sometimes people just need to follow the “Law of the land” and if they do not like the local culture or law then perhaps they need to immigrate to someplace that meets their needs as an individual.

  • I agree that following customs is an important part of international relations but not when it comes to human rights. We need to be polite when interacting but not condoning civil rights violations.

    This comes down to not having the World Cup there in the first place but Blatter’s comments just add fuel to the fire.

  • I agree we need to be supportive of getting countries to adopt human rights but at the same time one needs to take into consideration that human rights are not standard in every country in fact human rights are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which must be ratifed by a member U.N. Country for them to even be considered to be actual rights. There are so many countries that are not even U.N. members yet alone countries that ratify the rights of the declaration.

    Even in the United States we pick and choose and our government picks and chooses when to follow the human declaration. There are still states in the U.S.

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    I think honestly before we can criticize other countries and cultures for not adopting human rights that we need to set a better example of adherance to those principles. In all honesty human rights is not an actual right and if it was then every person who had those rights infringed upon say in the United States would have the right to seek remedy in a court somewhere right? Well I don’t see that happening…. under the Declaration of Human Rights DADT is a violation of human rights and yet nobody has went to court and raised a claim of a human rights violation…. because our court system does not recognize such a claim but instead people raise constitutional claims.

  • Oh I totally agree that the US has miles to go on both civil rights and human rights but that doesn’t change my opinion that the World Cup shouldn’t be held in Qatar.

    Maybe the World Cup shouldn’t be held in the US either. But you won’t be arrested/caned/what have you for consenting acts behind closed doors. And besides, none of this present conversation actually has much if anything to do with the USA.

  • I was just reading a article on a Qatar website and they were discussing how homosexuality is quite common in Qatar and that even though it may be against the law in Qatar it is not enforced as heavily as people outside of the country believe. Drinking alcohol violates Sharia which is the legal system in Qatar although they have a permit system that allows people to consume alcohol so long as they do not consume it in public.

    I do not think the religious police are going to come knocking on the hotel doors of any gay soccer fans who travel to Qatar for the world cup.

  • I wouldn’t bet my safety on that assumption

  • Lyska

    If respecting local “customs” means getting arresting-beaten-detained for being gay or kissy-faced with someone of the same gender, then yeah, we do need to have a problem with that. Up until recently (historically speaking) it was okay to gaybash in America. In fact, it was expected. It took people of all nationalities here to make a stand for change. There’s still so much work to be done.

    From Benjamin’s picture and statement I’m guessing he’s a straight white male. Don’t worry, that’s still legal in Qatar.

    Saying you know or are related to minorities clearly does not mean you’re very educated on oppression and violence. You know, in some cultures rape doesn’t really exist. So women should just expect to be violated when they visit those countries…

    You can say I’m oversensitive… but really, I’m just sick to death of people with privilege yawning over civil rights. Barf.

  • […] Cup. But gays were upset at the huge step backward when it was announced later this year that the 2022 World Cup would be held in Qatar, a country that punishes gay sex acts with imprisonment or […]