- Group includes members from Stonewall, Football Supporters' Association (FSA), Football vs. Homophobia and Sports Media LGBT+.
- Objective of the initiative is to create a safe and inclusive 2022 World Cup for LGBTQ+ supporters, as well as a positive legacy for LGBTQ+ Qataris.
- It will also aim to ensure LGBTQ+ considerations inform decisions about future events
As England today qualifies for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Kick It Out has announced the formation of the Qatar 2022 Working Group. The coalition of UK organisations, which includes Stonewall, Football Supporters' Association (FSA), Football vs. Homophobia and Sports Media LGBT+ will look at some of the key issues surrounding Qatar 2022, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Qatar will become the first country in the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup, but the nation continues to criminalise homosexuality. Sexual acts between people of the same sex are illegal and trans people cannot change their legal gender. Punishments go all the way up to a decade in prison. Homosexual acts can technically result in execution, although human rights organisations are yet to find any evidence of a gay person being executed for the offence.
We hope to drive inclusion and security for fans at Next year’s tournament ” -Chris Paouros
This is the reality of life for LGBTQ+ Qataris, but there is obviously also a risk to LGBTQ+ fans and players who may wish to travel to Qatar for the tournament. A 2021 “danger index”, created as a guide for LGBTQ+ travellers, rated Qatar as the eighth most dangerous place to travel for queer people.
With this in mind, the objectives of the Qatar 2022 Working Group are:
1. Preparing for a safe and inclusive 2022 Qatar World Cup for LGBTQ+ supporters
Urging FIFA and tournament organisers to take the necessary steps that ensure the protection and inclusion of fans at the tournament.
2. Creating a positive legacy for LGBTQ+ Qataris
Using the tournament as a platform for the advancement and amplification of LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar.
3. Creating an LGBTQ+ voice within sports leadership to inform key decisions around future events
Making sure the rights and considerations of the LGBTQ+ community are incorporated into decisions regarding future tournaments and events.