Peter Tatchell joins football fans to protest Qatar World Cup: ‘The world is watching’

LGBTQ+ activists protest outside the Qatar London embassy.

Several LGBTQ+ activists and football fans protested the Qatar World Cup outside the country’s embassy in London.

Ninety people were reportedly seen at the protest, coordinated by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, on Saturday (19 November) at 1 pm.

Protesters were heard chanting slogans of LGBTQ+ equality while reprimanding the stagnant human rights record in Qatar just a day before the FIFA World Cup is set to begin.

Human rights campaigners across the world have condemned the football governing body for hosting the World Cup in the country, which outlaws openly LGBTQ+ identities under punishment of death.

Despite this, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said during a bewildering Saturday press conference that LGBTQ+ activists shouldn’t “start accusing, fighting, insulting.”

Peter Tatchell holds up a placard that reads 'Qatar arrests, jails & subjects LGBTs to conversion.'

Peter Tatchell holds up a placard that reads ‘Qatar arrests, jails & subjects LGBTs to conversion.’ (supplied)

“We called out the homophobic, sexist and racist regime in Qatar,” Tatchell said. “We also sent a message of love and solidarity with victims of the dictatorship – Qatari LGBTs, women and migrant workers.

“Our aim was to keep the pressure on the Qatari regime and its backers in FIFA.”

According to Tatchell and fellow activists, the protest urged government officials in Qatar to “end the criminalisation, jailing, online entrapment, ‘honour’ killing and forced conversion of LGBTs.”

It also demanded the abolishment of the male guardian system – which keeps women under the thumb of oppressive legislation – and to compensate the families of dead migrant workers.

“There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like Qatar,” Tatchell continued. “Football must be a level playing field for all.

“If a star Qatari footballer came out as gay, he would be more likely to be jailed than be selected to play for the national team. That’s discrimination and against FIFA’s rules.

“Our message to Qatar is that the world is watching,” he continued.

Tatchell was arrested in Doha in October following a one-man protest outside the Nationa Museum of Qatar.

A Reuters report said that two uniformed police officers and three plainclothes officials arrived at the scene to remove Tatchell and take his placard, which read: “Qatar arrests, jails, and subjects LGBTs to ‘conversion.'”

“The police were not abusive or threatening, but they did make it clear that we should go to the airport and leave the country,” he said at the time.