LGBTQ fans told to ‘compromise’ for Qatar World Cup by U.K. diplomat

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British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Wednesday that LGBT fans must be “respectful” and show “flexibility and compromise” in Qatar for the upcoming men’s soccer World Cup, prompting Britain’s media, There has been sharp criticism from lawmakers and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Cleverly, speaking on talk radio station LBC, said Qatar was “making some compromises, which, you know, is an Islamic country that has a very different set of cultural norms to our own.” In return, he said, fans should “respect the host nation – they will, they’re trying to make sure people can be themselves and enjoy football.”

“I think with a little bit of flexibility and compromise on both ends, it can be a safe, secure and exciting World Cup,” he added.

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Critics said Cleverly, a member of the centre-right Conservatives and a supporter of same-sex marriage rights, was essentially asking LGBT fans to hide their identities in a country where homosexuality is a crime. Consensual sex between men is prohibited under Qatari law, which does not expressly prohibit sex between women, according to the US State Department. Sex between men is punishable by up to seven years in prison.

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Gary Lineker, a British former national football player, Tweeted: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything Gay. Is that the message?”

“Don’t be gay at the World Cup,” read Thursday cover of Metro, a British tabloid.

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Lucy Powell, who speaks for the opposition Labor Party on sport and culture, Called Cleverly’s comments are “shockingly tone-deaf.” He urged the government to “challenge FIFA on how they put fans in this position” instead of “defending discriminatory values”.

According to the Associated Press, Downing Street condemned Cleverley’s comments in a statement, saying people should not compromise “who they are”.

Amidst the criticism, Cleverly reiterated his position, telling British broadcaster Sky News that “we have incredibly important partners in the Middle East,” and that “it’s important, when you visit a country But if you are, you respect your culture. The host nation.”

When asked if he plans to attend the World Cup from November 20 to December 18, Cleverly said he would because “it is an important international event” where other interlocutors shall be. He said he also had to be there to protect the British passengers.

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Human Rights Watch said in a report on Monday that arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of LGBT people in Qatar continued as of last month.

The Gulf country’s treatment of underprivileged groups such as migrant workers has come under intense scrutiny since it was awarded the rights to host the tournament. Qatari leaders have expressed anger at some of the criticism leveled at their country, claiming that the attacks were carried out by “people who cannot accept the idea that an Arab-Muslim country can host a tournament like the World Cup.” will host.”

Andrew Jeong contributed to this report.



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