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Josh Cavallo: FIFA must consider LGBTQ safety when awarding World Cup hosting rights | Football news

Josh Cavallo, Australia’s first active male professional footballer to come out as gay, said a country’s stance on LGBTQ rights should be considered before granting hosting rights to a major sporting event.

Cavallo has not yet received a call-up to the Australian senior team, but has previously said he would be “afraid” of playing at the World Cup in Qatar, where gay sex is a criminal offence.

The 2018 edition of football’s flagship show was held in Russia, where a “gay propaganda law” passed in 2013 has been used to halt gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.

“I promise to stand up for the LGBTQ athletes and the fans at the World Cup in Qatar, who cannot live openly and authentically. Qatar, FIFA, the world is watching,” said Cavallo. “Do you see us?

“I urge sports leaders to consider our rights and our safety when choosing host countries for World Cups and other competitions. We must do better. I take this honor and duty and promise to rise to that challenge.”

Nasser Al Khater, the director of the 2022 World Cup, has said LGBTQ+ fans entering the country should not worry about “persecution of any kind”, and described Qatar as a “tolerant country”.

WC chief: LGBTQ+ fans can hold hands for hours in Qatar, no one will say anything

Qatar World Cup chief Nasser Al Khater
Qatar World Cup chief Nasser Al Khater

Qatar’s World Cup chief has told English and Welsh football associations to focus on their teams instead of demanding compensation for migrant workers.

In a lengthy interview in the capital Doha, Mr Al Khater also said: Sky News that continued criticism of the tournament could be considered racist.

He also said that:

  • Gay fans are welcome to show affection and rainbow flags;
  • FIFA will have to decide whether captains wear “One Love” bracelets while warning of “political messages” by teams;
  • There will be special areas where drunken supporters can sober up;
  • 95 percent of the tickets have been sold

The first World Cup in the Middle East kicks off on November 19 – the culmination of a 12-year journey since Qatar won a widespread FIFA vote.

During that time, Mr Al Khater has risen to chief executive of the highest committee overseeing Qatar’s planning and has been in the firing line of criticism.

A group of European countries – including England and Wales – have raised concerns about the suffering of migrant workers and alleged shortcomings in Qatar’s compensation funding during the World Cup preparations.

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Gary Neville has revealed minimum living conditions for migrant workers who helped prepare for this year’s World Cup in Qatar

Mr Al Khater told Sky News: “Many people who speak on this issue of worker welfare… are not industry experts. And they are not experts in what they are talking about.

“And I feel they feel obligated, they need to speak up. I think they really need to read and educate themselves a little bit more about what’s happening on the ground in Qatar.”

Respect the culture

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Reports suggest England are willing to give Harry Kane the ‘One Love’ captaincy at Qatar World Cup, even though it is banned by FIFA

A UEFA working group on labor rights in Qatar held talks at FIFA’s headquarters in Switzerland on Wednesday.

“So when people come out and say, ‘Yes, we agree that there should be some sort of compensation fund,'” Mr Al Khater said. “They just read a piece of paper.

“So let’s leave that to the experts… and let’s focus on football. Let the football administrators focus on their teams. And let’s leave it at that.”

While the World Cup organizers maintain that there have been only three work-related deaths in stadiums, concerns remain that more migrant workers have died in wider infrastructure works across Qatar, as not every fatal accident has been fully investigated.

Al Khater pointed to the improvement of labor laws in Qatar and the introduction of a minimum wage.

But Qatar is unwilling to change anti-LGBTQ+ laws to address the concerns of visiting fans, while insisting that no one will be discriminated against during the 29-day tournament and gay fans can hold hands.

“All we ask is that people respect the culture,” Al Khater said. “Ultimately, as long as you don’t do anything that harms other people, if you don’t destroy public property, as long as you behave in a way that isn’t harmful, then everyone is welcome and you’re nothing to worry about.”

He added: “Everyone is welcome here and everyone will feel safe coming to Qatar.”

If that includes LGBTQ+ fans holding hands in public, Mr. Al Khater added: “Yes. If I held your hand right now and walked the streets for hours and hours, no one would hold anything against us. say. .”

Although Mr Al Khater has said fans can display rainbow flags, he said “it is a FIFA issue” whether England captain Harry Kane and his counterpart Gareth Bale will be allowed to wear multicolored “One Love” bracelets highlighting discrimination .

95 percent of the tickets have been sold

“As far as I understand, there are discussions about the different political messages that will come,” Al Khater said.

He added: “This is a sports tournament that people want to come to [to] and enjoy. To make it a platform for political statements, I don’t think it’s good for the sport.”

Fans will attend matches in eight new stadiums built around Doha. Accommodation will remain available through the organizers, but 95 percent of tickets have been sold, Mr Al Khater said.

To host the World Cup, Qatar needed to open more areas for the sale of alcohol — including outside stadiums and in fan zones — rather than being limited to hotel bars.

Mass gatherings of rowdy, drunken supporters are uncharted territory for the first Muslim country to host a World Cup.

Mr Al Khater said: “There are plans for people to get sober if they have been drinking excessively.

“It’s a place to make sure they protect themselves, they won’t harm anyone else.”

Mr Al Khater ignored lingering concerns about whether vote buying secured hosting rights for the 2010 World Cup – he felt Qatar had been unfairly attacked overall.

“We have taken up the challenge and we have taken up that challenge,” he said.

Asked if he found criticism racist, he replied: “I don’t go into other people’s intentions, I don’t go into other people’s minds and souls.

“But you know, who knows, maybe.”

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