‘Don’t come to insult us’—LGBTQI community warned ahead of 2022 World Cup kick off in Qatar  

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By James Muonwa

LESBIAN, gay, bisexual, transgenders, queer and intersex people have been chastised against promoting minority rights at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in the conservative Muslim nation of Qatar.

The tournament is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, 2022, and will be the first World Cup ever to be hosted in the Arab world.

Head of security at the tournament, Abdullah Al Nasari, said individuals and groups seeking to further the interests of the LGBTQI society during the event risked the wrath of spectators, who loathe such practices.

“If you want to express your views on the LGBT cause, do so in a society where it will be accepted,” Nasari tweeted.

“Do not come and insult an entire society. We will not change religion for the 28 days.”

Qatar is a Muslim nation, with laws, customs and practices rooted in Islam. The country is neither as liberal as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates nor as conservative as parts of Saudi Arabia. Most of its citizens are Sunni Muslim.

Added Nasari, “If a fan raises a rainbow flag in a stadium and it is taken away, it will not be because we want to offend them, but to protect him.

“If we don’t, another spectator could attack him. If you buy a ticket, it is to attend a football match and not to demonstrate.”

The gay and other sexual minorities oftentimes take advantage of such world events to lobby for their rights.

Rights affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction—encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.

Notably, as of July this year, 32 countries recognised same-sex marriages.