Nasser Al Khater has revealed Qatar’s position on LGBT rights and concerns ahead of the 2022 World Cup. There have been growing concerns over the safety of LGBT communities as the world gets ready to hit the independent emirate on the west coast of the Persian Gulf for the 2022 World Cup.
As the countdown to the 2022 World Cup begins, the chief executive of the supreme committee overseeing the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Nasser Al Khater, has weighed into the position of Qatar on LGBT rights.
After winning the hosting right of the 2022 World Cup, there were concerns raised over the conservatist position of the Arab country over LGBT rights.
Qatar maintains a relatively conservative and restrictive policy towards LGBT communities.
There have been fears that this may play out during the 2022 World Cup, with fans of all shades and sexual orientations ready to throng into the country ahead of the tournament.
Some countries with liberal policies towards LGBT communities must assure their home fans of safety to convince them to join their national teams in the tournament.
England, Wales, and other western countries, who have qualified for the 2022 World Cup, are preparing to lead campaigns tagged “One Love” to encourage inclusion and end all forms of discrimination against LGBT communities in Qatar.
They are planning to do this by giving their national team captains the “One Love” armband to be flagged during matches.
Reacting to the developments as per fears about protecting LGBT communities and rights during the 2022 World Cup, Nasser Al Khater has revealed that Qatar will not discriminate against LGBT communities.
When asked whether LGBT supporters can hold hands in the public without being pinned down by Qatari legal devices, Al Khater responded in the affirmative, saying;
“Yes. If I held your hand now, and I walked out into the street for hours and hours and hours nobody would say anything to us”
However, Al Khater maintained that everyone will be welcomed in the country if they respect the culture of the country.
Al Khater further outlined some conciliatory plans to allay the fears of LGBT communities.
According to him, gay fans will be permitted to show affection and flag their rainbow colors without being penalized.
He also added that there will be special centers for drunken supporters to sober up.
Al Khater also weighed into the planned “One Love” campaigns.
He said that FIFA will decide whether the national team captains should wear the armband or not.
However, he cautioned the national team against flagging symbols with “political messages.”
Despite assurances of the safety of the LGBT community throughout the 29-day tournament, Al Khater further emphasized that Qatar will not alter its LGBT laws to pander to the concerns of LGBT countries.
He, however, assured them that they will not be discriminated upon and will be allowed to hold hands.
“All we ask is for people to be respectful of the culture. At the end of the day, as long as you don’t do anything that harms other people, if you’re not destroying public property, as long as you’re behaving in a way that’s not harmful, then everybody’s welcome and you have nothing to worry about,” Mr Al Khater said.
As things stand, Qatar will not tinker with its statutes and stand on LGBT rights ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
The fears of the LGBT community are still potent. However, the wealthy Arab nation may not deploy state machinery to penalize erring fans.
Respecting the culture of the Qatari society, as Al Khater puts it, means the LGBT communities have to conduct themselves as orderly as possible so as not to upset the sexual ethos of the Qatari society.
It is still a dicey one. Qatar will accept gay communities as fans into the tournament, but they are still jittery about the extent to which expressions of sexual orientation will be allowed as the tournament kicks off on November 26, 2022.