Is Travelling to the World Cup Safe for LGBTQ+ Football Fans?

The UK government is being encouraged to change its travel advice for the LGBTQ+ community about travelling to Qatar for the World Cup. 

As a result, we are asking - is travelling to the World Cup safe for LGBTQ+ football fans? 

Whilst Qatar says they will welcome all fans "without discrimination", same-sex relationships can be punishable by the death sentence.

Andrew Boff, patron of the LGBTQ+ Conservatives Campaign Group says - "Obviously, when you go to a country, you respect their traditions, but the mere fact that being gay, or lesbian, or trans is illegal in Qatar and will open you up for prosecution means it is not a safe place for LGBTQ+ people to travel to and the government advice should clearly say that."

In Wales, many football fans are boycotting the Fifa Word Cup, despite Wales qualifying for the first time in 64 years.  Tracy Brown - a member of the official LGBTQ+ supporters' group says many members do not feel it is safe to travel to Qatar.  However, Fatma Al-Nuaimi - communications executive director of Qatar's supreme committee for organising the tournament - has stated that the World Cup is - "A tournament for everyone, a tournament of firsts, and a tournament where everyone will be welcome."

Fifa has been widely criticised for allowing a nation with Qatar's record on human rights to host the tournament. Felix Jakens - head of campaigns at Amnesty International UK - stated. "This is a time when footballers in our own country are finally coming out as gay, where there's more acceptance around LGBT people's participation.  It's shocking that the World Cup is being held in a country where being gay is criminalised."

Will football fans around the world miss out on the 2022 World Cup for choosing to stay true to their authentic selves?

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Photo Credit: 

The Official Emblem of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (Getty)

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