World’s only openly gay active pro footballer is concerned for LGBTQ community ahead of Qatar 2022 World Cup
FIFA president Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein has urged the LGBTQ community to “be courageous” in the wake of the country’s decision to host the 2022 tournament..
The International Olympic Committee has also expressed concern over Qatar’s decision to send three Qatari players to the tournament alongside 49 male and 49 female athletes.
The Qatari delegation – which is currently banned by FIFA – is set to arrive in Doha on Friday to begin their two-week visit.
Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein has told FIFA’s executive committee the country had “the potential” for a strong LGBTQ community
Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein made the comments ahead of the first meeting of FIFA’s executive committee which begins in Cairo on Thursday.
“It is true that there is now a possibility of the world becoming more inclusive,” he said. “I think you can start with a very small group, but you can build on the potential.
“Of course you must be careful but there are countries such as Qatar that have the potential to become very progressive.
“Of course, we are not in a position to know yet about everything, but we want to do what we can.”
“I know the LGBTQ community is going to be scared. But we are a democratic society so no one has the right to make a decision without everyone’s [consent].
“We are going to have a dialogue with the LGBTQ community in football and other sports in Qatar and we are going to say: ‘We are going to take this into account.’
FIFA president Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein (L) said his country “has the potential” for a strong LGBTQ community
“Everyone must respect other people. That’s the most important thing. Everybody must respect everyone else,” he added.
The IOC, which already has issued an open letter to Qatar’s government demanding they withdraw their LGBTQ ambassadors, have said they do not believe a boycott would be effective.
“The IOC does not recognise this as a realistic option, especially when you consider that a boycott will harm the athletes and the tournament,” it added.