2022 World Cup news and highlights on opening day

Activists gathered outside Qatar's embassy in London on the eve of the World Cup to protest the country's laws, its stance on the rights of the LGBT community, general human rights violations, and FIFA's controversial decision to award Qatar the world's largest football tournament.
Activists gathered outside Qatar’s embassy in London on the eve of the World Cup to protest the country’s laws, its stance on the rights of the LGBT community, general human rights violations, and FIFA’s controversial decision to award Qatar the world’s largest football tournament. (Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images)

As the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East, Qatar 2022 is undoubtedly a historic event, but it is also clouded by controversy, particularly Regarding LGBTQ rights.

Homosexuality in Qatar is illegal and punishable by a maximum Three years in prison. A report from Human Rights Watch Posted last month Documented cases through September in which Qatari security forces arbitrarily arrested LGBT people and subjected them to “ill-treatment in custody.”

In September, German soccer fan Dario Minden said, to a room full of dignitaries and sponsors of a human rights conference in Frankfurt hosted by the German Football Association: “I am a man and I like men. I do – please don’t be shocked – I have sex with other men. This It’s normal. So please get used to it, or stay away from football.”

Minden looked directly at Qatar’s ambassador to Germany, Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, as he spoke.

Minden told CNN that he will not be going to Qatar nor will he be watching the competition on television.

“When we talk about the LGBTQ+ rights situation, we don’t just mean soccer tourists, but also the situation before the World Cup, and especially after,” he said.

After the conference, Minden said he spoke privately with the ambassador, who told him he was all welcome in Qatar. But Minden told CNN, “It’s not safe and it’s not true.”

What do you say Qatar and FIFAHosting the World Cup is an inclusive country, a Qatari government official told CNN in a statement. “Everyone is welcome in Qatar,” the statement read, adding, “Our track record has shown that we warmly welcome all people, regardless of their background.”

Measures have been implemented to ensure that no discrimination of any kind occurs, such as human rights training courses with public and private security forces, and the enactment of legal provisions to protect everyone, according to FIFA.

A statement sent to CNN on behalf of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which since its formation in 2011 has been responsible for overseeing infrastructure projects and planning for the World Cup, said it was committed to an “inclusive and discriminatory-free World Cup policy,” referring to the fact that the country has hosted She has, in her words, attended hundreds of international and regional sporting events since winning the World Cup in 2010.

Everyone is welcome in Qatar, but we are a conservative country and any public display of affection, regardless of orientation, is reprehensible. We are simply asking people to respect our culture,” according to the statement.

As FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, “Everyone is welcome” on Saturday during a press conference.

“The gay situation that I have spoken about with the highest leadership of the country many times, not just once. They have affirmed and I can confirm that everyone is welcome,” Infantino said.

“two-way street”: But for the Englishman Rob Sanderson, respect for cultures is a “two-way street”.

Sanderson is a Special Projects Officer football pride, A network of UK LGBTQ fan groups and one of the support groups that have joined forces in open letter To condemn both FIFA and the Supreme Committee, and to refute the global governing body and Qatar’s claims that it will be a World Cup for all.

He added, “They said hello, everyone,” but signed off on that line by saying, “You have to respect our culture.”

“I don’t feel comfortable being used as an excuse for any animosity that might exist after the tournament,” he said.

CNN’s Telee Rayban in Hong Kong and CNN’s Sophie Jeong in Seoul contributed reporting for this post.

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