In an effort to ease fears raised by LGBTQ activists, Qatar’s ruler said all fans will be welcome at the World Cup “without discrimination.”
Organizers have worked to assure rights groups that same-sex couples will not face discrimination at the tournament, which begins on November 20. However, the organizing committee and government officials expect that the World Cup’s million-plus attendees will respect local cultural norms.
At the UN General Assembly, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said that Qatar will open its doors to all without any discrimination and enjoy football and its amazing atmosphere. During the World Cup buildup, Qatar has focused on the rights of women and the LGBT community, including lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers.
The emir said, “The world will see that one of the small and medium-sized countries is able to host global events with exceptional success, in addition to its ability to provide a spacious ambience for diversity and constructive interaction between people.”
Post this comment, FIFA reaffirmed that LGBTQ rainbow flags will be allowed in and around the stadium. Meanwhile, the organising committee chief Hassan Al-Thawadi said at a conference in New York, “We don’t believe in public displays of affection but we are also ingrained towards welcoming everyone from all backgrounds.”