Peter Tatchell responds
London, UK – 4 November 2022
Responding to FIFA’s letter urging national football teams to keep politics out of the World Cup, human rights defender, Peter Tatchell, said:
“FIFA is trying to pressure national teams to drop their concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. It is colluding with the sexist, homophobic and racist regime in Doha, which is using the World Cup to sportswash its international reputation.
“Footballers with a conscience have a right to freedom of expression, just like everyone else.
“Calling out Qatar’s abuses is not political, as FIFA claims. It’s defending universal human rights.
“FIFA says everyone will be welcome at the World Cup. But that’s not true. Seven competing nations, including Qatar, criminalise same-sex relations. In these countries, a gay footballer would be more likely to be jailed than selected for their national team, no matter how brilliant a player he is. That’s discrimination and it’s against FIFA’s rules.
“FIFA is doing nothing to stop this homophobic discrimination. It is looking the other way and allowing countries to discriminate in their team selection policies,” said Mr Tatchell.