England football captain: I won’t go to the Qatar World Cup, where gays are not accepted

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While the world watches Sochi for the Winter Olympics, the head of the England football team quietly said they would not attend Qatar where gay people are not welcome.

In an interview during which Casey Stoney said she had been inspired by British Olympic diver Tom Daley to come out, Stoney also said she would boycott the upcoming Russia and Qatar World Cups because she “wouldn’t be accepted there.”

Voicing surprise at the decision to award the world cups to the countries, she said: “I won’t be going to Russia or Qatar to watch a World Cup because I wouldn’t be accepted there,

“I think it’s incredible that these countries get World Cups and Olympics when they don’t accept everybody to go there and be part of it.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and can be punished with lashes and jail, while the Russian capital of Moscow has banned gay Pride marches for years, and more recently Russia introduced federal laws banning the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships to minors, causing an international outcry.

Gay groups in 2010 said they were “deeply concerned” by FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

The international football governing body FIFA’s taskforce last year announced its intention to put pressure on Qatar to relax its anti-gay legislation ahead of hosting the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA in August called on Russia to give “clarification and more details” about anti-gay laws introduced in June ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter in June sparked anger by dismissing a question on the logistics of Qatar, a country in which homosexuality is illegal, hosting the World Cup.

NB. This article does not read ‘England women’s football captain’ because we would not normally write ‘England male captain’ to refer to Steven Gerrard, and we consider both teams to be equal.