Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Pexels
Qatar is to allow rainbow flags at the 2022 World Cup, despite gay sex being illegal in the country, a FIFA rep has claimed.
Homosexuality is punishable by up to three years in prison in the Middle Eastern country - and death for native Muslims under Sharia law.
However, the LGBTQ Pride symbol will be allowed in eight stadiums across five cities at the tournament, as per FIFA tolerance rules.
"Rainbow flags, t-shirts will all be welcome in the stadium"
"I'm an openly gay woman in football, so this is personally, to me, something Im close to as well," FIFA chief social responsibility and education officer Joyce Cook said in an interview with The Associated Press.
"We will see a progressive change in all of those aspects and rainbow flags, t-shirts will all be welcome in the stadium - that's a given.
"They understand very well that is our stance."
"When it comes to the rainbow flags in the stadiums, FIFA have their own guidelines, they have their rules and regulations," 2022 World Cup chief executive Nasser Al-Khater told the agency. "Whatever they may be, we will respect them."
According to the IGLA, the law in Qatar states, “One is convicted to no less than a year and no more than three years in prison in case of leading, instigating or seducing a male anyhow for sodomy or immorality and inducing or seducing a male or a female anyhow to commit illegal or immoral actions”.