Gay football group to boycott 2022 Qatar World Cup

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The Gay Football Supporters’ Network says it will boycott all activities related to the 2022 World Cup because host country Qatar is homophobic.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and gay sex can be punished with up to five years in prison. The tiny Gulf state won the right to host the games last week.

The GFSN said: “We strongly condemn FIFA’s decision and will be leading a LGBT boycott of all activities associated with World Cup 2022.

“We do not feel the World Cup should be held in any country that abuses and disregards the basic human rights of LGBT people.

“FIFA president Sepp Blatter talks of his wish for inclusivity and to bring the game to the whole world.

“By holding the competition in Qatar he is alienating the millions of LGBT football fans around the globe who will feel unwelcome in a homophobic country where they can be arrested just for being themselves.

Ed Connell, GFSN’s campaigns officer, added that gay fans would be unlikely to attend “football’s greatest tournament” because of the fear of breaking the law.

He added: “With FIFA’s failure to condemn the recent homophobic remarks of the Croatian manager followed swiftly by their decision to award Qatar the World Cup, it is clear that there is still much progress to be made before football really is for all.”

Last week, Peter Tatchell, The Justin Campaign and LGBTory all criticised the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 games to Russia and Qatar respectively.