Controversial journalist and columnist Rod Liddle says Qatar’s treatment of gay people is a reason why the 2022 World Cup should not be held there.

The strongest objections from a sporting perspective are based on the country’s oppressive summer heat, but Liddle, known for his hard-line views on race and Islam, also cited Qatar’s draconian anti-gay laws as another reason in an article for The Times.

“The next objections to Qatar will come — with some justification — from the gay lobby,” he wrote. “When the British footballing authorities are grappling with homophobia, we are planning to send our national side to a country that imprisons homosexuals for three years and only recently stopped whipping them.

“Oddly enough, the Qataris have no great objection to lesbians — it is only male homosexuals who feel the primitive wrath of Islamic law.”

He added: “You may recall that Stephen Fry recently called upon athletes to boycott the Winter Olympics in the Russian seaside resort of Sochi, on account of the country’s antipathy towards homosexuals.

“You think Russia’s bad, Stephen? Check out the gay scene in Doha, mate, and tell me how you get on.”

The 2018 World Cup is taking place in Russia; notorious for its gay “propaganda” law, and the one after that in Qatar; a state where gay people can be jailed for up to five years.

Gay England and Surrey cricketer Steven Davies told PinkNews in February that gay football fans should not fear travelling to either tournaments.

Having made his Twenty20 International début for England against the West Indies in Port of Spain during March 2009, Davies has since been on tours to countries such as Pakistan, where homosexuality remains illegal.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Speaker of Russia’s Parliament invited MEPs to visit Moscow’s gay bars in an attempt to show Russia accepts the LGBT community.