Russians tell gay World Cup fans: ‘You’ll be hunted down and stabbed’
Gay football fans have been warned that they will be hunted down and attacked if they go to the World Cup.
Last week, LGBT football fans were “strongly” warned to not “publicly display sexuality” at the World Cup.
The Football Supporters’ Federation said that queer fans should not hold hands or be affectionate towards their partner in public, to ensure their safety.
And the dangers for supporters who are open with their sexuality have been highlighted by activists, who have reported death threats to the police.
Pride in Football campaign leader Joe White told the Mirror: “We’ve had people say that if they find us they’ll stab us, so it’s been a mixture but they’re being dealt with seriously and those investigations are still ongoing.”
Russian Government minister Mikhail Degtyarev has estimated that around two million people will visit Russia during the World Cup.
White told PinkNews that FIFA was “at least pushing the Russian authorities on investigating the threats and they now have, alongside UEFA, sexual orientation and gender identity rights as part of the bidding process.
“But it is ridiculous that they gave the World Cup to Russia and Qatar.”
The 2022 World Cup will be in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
But despite the threats and cautionary advice from advocates, White refused to be cowed.
The activist told the Mirror that the guidelines “had to be very cautious”, but that he was out and proud, and would continue to be.
“I could go out and almost go back into the closet and act butch, but that kind of plays exactly into what we are trying to show is an issue,” said White.
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