Gareth Southgate says it’s a “great shame” that some England fans won’t be able to attend the World Cup in Qatar this winter, but insists that no one is “complacent” about the problems.
Since the Gulf state was controversially awarded the finals in 2010, allegations of mistreatment of migrant labor and a dismal human rights record have dogged the Gulf state.
Male homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, same-sex marriages are illegal, and women’s rights are far more restricted than in other regions of the world.
Gareth Southgate has stated that he is now “lucid” on the difficulties surrounding the World Cup’s hosting in the region, and that he intends to speak with his players ahead of the next friendlies against Switzerland and the Ivory Coast.
“I believe I’ve stated my concerns about this event fairly clearly,” he remarked. “The first was the construction of stadiums, and there is nothing we can do about it now. They’ve been constructed.”
“Of course, there are persistent worries regarding employees’ rights and living circumstances in such locations.”
“It appears to be unanimously acknowledged that it is better than it was, but not to the extent that many believe it could be. And it’s possible that policies aren’t always followed as strictly as they should be.”
“Then there are the concerns that could endanger our supporters when they travel, such as women’s rights and the LGBTQ+ community’s rights.
“Unfortunately, based on conversations I’ve had, I don’t believe some of those communities will survive, which is a big shame.
“As a team, we stand for inclusivity – it’s been a huge motivation of a lot of the stands we’ve taken in the last couple of years – and it would be terrible to think that some of our fans are unable to go because they feel threatened or fear for their safety.”
Southgate insists he is taking the subject seriously and that when he travels to Doha for the World Cup draw next month, he will “go further” in obtaining a sense of the difficulties.
England’s players have been kneeling before matches for over a year in protest of racism and prejudice, but Gareth Southgate accepts that a fresh way is needed to demonstrate their position on the issue.
“I don’t think we’ll be able to come out with a statement that would satisfy everyone,” he continued.
“This is not the same as taking the knee and the significance we attached to it. We’re not implying that this isn’t important.
“We believe the World Cup provides an opportunity to raise awareness about some of these concerns, and we have a platform to do so. We must also do so in a responsible manner.
“I’m not convinced that simply wearing a T-shirt will make a difference. I’m not sure what we can do in every situation to make a difference.”
England is a free country that let it’s people express themselves how they want. However, other countries are not like that. Qatar is a religious country, they have strict rules that governs women, the gay community and other things that they feel is a sin or can be a sin.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup will go as planned but a lot of people should understand the rules and regulations before they attend any of the games, or some may end up breaking the laws of the land in Qatar.