Fifa President Sepp Blatter caused controversy today when he joked that gay football fans should ”refrain” from having sex at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal. His statement was a reply to a question about the threatment of gay fans at the football tournament, Blatter laughed the question off with his remark which was awkwardly received by the journalists in the room.
The sporting world arguably remains one of the most homophobic despite general progress with very few sports men or women having come out. Blatter is far from helping the campaign against homophobia in football with this claim no matter how humourously it was intended. Amnesty international 18 people were flogged last year in Qatar for ”illicit sexual acts”, I would argue that no country should be allowed a position on the world stage when their population’s civil liberties are so repressed. How the board of judges came to decide upon Qatar is questionable, as is its decision to give Russia the 2018 World Cup.
The full article can be read at the Guardian here.