LGBT safe house in Russia closed a day before the World Cup started

Diversity House was luckily able to move to a new location


An organisation providing a safe space for LGBT football fans during the World Cup in Russia have been evicted from its location, a day before the tournament began.

Diversity House, an initiative run by Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), was originally due to stay open during the whole month-long football tournament and aimed to provide a safe space for LGBT+ fans to watch matches.

However, a day before the tournament was about to kick off last Thursday, the organisers were locked out of the building by landlords at the last minute, according to the BBC.

The owners also ended their contract with the house without any notice or explanation and FARE believe their decision felt politically motivated.

FARE director Piara Powar said: “The move was a political attack of the kind that shows how debates about human rights are curtailed by powerful conservative political forces in Russia.”

Luckily, Diversity House was able to relocate to another premise in St Petersburg and the other initiative in Moscow is still running smoothly.

Although homosexuality is legal in Russia, there is a law banning the promotion of homosexuality and a man was hospitalised on the first day of the World Cup in a homophobic attack.