Am I somehow misreading this? Why all the anger from John Amaechi? This sounds like very good advice to me. It’s a shame it must be like that but the fact remains that homosexual acts in Qatar ARE illegal. And I’d much rather be warned about it ahead of time rather than arrive there completely ignorant of this and find myself lashed and then locked up in a Qataran jail.
It seems to me his anger has been misdirected. We shouldn’t be angry with FIFA for issuing the warning. No. We should be angry such appalling laws still exist in some countries around the world – the Middle East in particular.
@ David in Indy – “Homosexual acts in Qatar ARE illegal”
Which is why, with FIFA knowing this whilst selecting Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, and then laughing about how gays should basically just deal with it and un-gay for the duration that they’re over there to support their team, is so offensive.
Some vague semblance of thought for what he might have said if asked about this issue would have been appropriate.
And I agree with Amaechi regarding a reversal of Blatter’s position, and acknowledgement from other sporting associations that this comment was inappropriate.
It’s bad enough that the World Cup is even being held in a part of the world that currently continues to actively propagate discrimination on this level, let alone making jokes about how the LGBT community should suck it up and deal with it when they’re there.
It isn’t just homosexual acts that are illegal in Qatar, their law essentially commands a sentence of up to five years in prison for “acting homosexual.” An innocent kiss would be enough under that law.
I think Amaechi and other are right to give them as much stick as possible – there was very little due regard by FIFA to gay people on their decision making – wouldn’t that be illegal in the UK under the equality act??? – was there any guarantee on the safety and rights of foregin gay people provided by Qatar before they were allowed to host the world cup?
As for the advice given by this guy then I was slightly surprised to see very little advice given to gay travellers to Qatar on any website – the FCO’s advice to gay travellers seems to try to distance themselves completely from all responsibilties when given out any advice ….
The only good thing about Qatar having the world cup is that hopefully people like Amaechi and others will make an issue of it and will hopefully make people like our govt do something to influence Qatar on LGBT issues otherwise Qatar will be just a far and distant country which no-one will give a toss about!
However, I fear our govt and others will do nothing to exert any influence!
- a timely article !
- I hate this decision but since it has been made then pressure shoudl now be exerted on these countries or boycotts from nations should take place – will England attend?
If he does apologise, it’ll only be because of pressure to save face and will be meaningless.
How can they seriously expect those within football to change when those running FIFA itself clearly remain supportive of such discrimination.
So…who is going to organise a gay flash mob for the cameras?
Why would he apologize?
All the attention is in the wrong place. While it is stupid he joked about this matter, it is more stupid that we are not focusing our anger on this backwards country. So much for all this press doing something good for the gay rights movement there!
it’s time for an all out boycott starting now of FIFA by gay people. Blatter promotes homophobia in sport, approves of homophobic actions by national associations, validates homophobia. Football through FIFA oppresses LGTBQ people everywhere.
Friday Jones you are wrong. Men touching, holding hands or even kissing in public is socially acceptable in the Middle East, and many parts of Africa (although a big old smooch is not, I grant you), it is public acts of affection to females that will get you in trouble on the street.
Just one minor point – why is a basketball player sounding off so much about football? I wonder what the Yanks would think of a football player spouting off views on baseball or basketball, or that sport-thing like rugby but with motocycle helmets?
The real question is why FIFA has agreed to hold the World Cup in a country that does not have basic human rights, this goes for Russia too by the way.
So he is responsible directly for this situation.
Would he have held the World Cup in apartheid South Africa? Would he have advised mixed race straight couples going to watch the games that they should book seperate hotels, sit in seperate areas of the stadium?