STATEMENT: THREATS TO LGBT COMMUNITY AHEAD OF QATAR WORLD CUP 2022
equitysport has made a short statement following the widely reported comments of Qatar World Cup official, Abdullah Al Nasari, regarding the LGBT community and their presence at the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
We, at equitysport, do not represent any particular group or community at home or abroad. Instead, we strive to represent, support and advocate for the stated values of sport itself; values that we believe represent the very best of humankind.
The targeted comments by Abdullah Al Nasari towards the international LGBT community are discriminatory and threatening, and they have no place in sport. For any individual, group or community to simply, proudly and peacefully exist is not a threat to anyone else and does not encroach on anyone else's faith or belief system.
The FIFA Statutes are crystal clear on equality and non-discrimination and they are applicable to all FIFA members and all tournament hosts.
Photo: FIFA Statute 4.1
The celebrations of goals, tackles, wins and losses at this year's World Cup will be all the richer for the open and inclusive presence of the LGBT community. Whether on the terraces, in bars, or in living rooms around the world, the collective joy shared by so many every four years will only be sweetened by the proud inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters.
Football is not weakened by proudly celebrating the diversity of its participants and supporters, it is only strengthened. Whilst we must always remain mindful and tolerant of those with differing views, beliefs and opinions; to actively exclude anyone, whether on the field of play or as spectators, on account of who they are is never an option for any sport, anywhere in the world.
For groups and communities who have, for too long, been subject to marginalisation, oppression or exclusion in, through and because of sport, we owe them both a debt of public support and an open invitation to proudly celebrate their inclusion now and into the future.
Tim Harper, Executive Director at equitysport added:
"By successfully bidding to host the FIFA World Cup, Qatar understood the responsibilities of hosts to uphold the FIFA Statutes in full. Qatar chose to open their doors to the hugely diverse world of football without discrimination - their officials don't now get to make unilateral decisions as to who is welcome to enjoy the global game and who is not.
For too long, marginalised and excluded groups in sport have faced closed doors because of who they are. It is up to all of us, personally affected by prejudice or not, to show that those doors are now open, and that we will risk position and privilege to hold them open in the face of threat and harassment. All people are equal in sport and all people are welcome in sport."
equitysport is a values-led registered charity (1189559) that exists to advance equality, promote diversity and extend equal opportunity in and through global sport. We seek an inclusive and equitable sporting ecosystem that lives true to the values of sport.
For interviews or further comment from equitysport, please contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org