For the uninitiated, homosexual activities are illegal in the country. Though Qatar has said “everyone is welcome”, chief executive Nasser al Khater noted that visitors should “respect the country’s culture” in this regard. Meanwhile, on the human rights front a Guardian article cited that 6,500 migrant workers had died in the country since it won the World Cup bid.
How countries are protesting?
Denmark: Denmark has been a vocal critic of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup due to its human rights record and the country’s government and royal family have said they will not attend. Meanwhile, the team will wear “toned-down” shirts to protest against human rights violations.
Germany: When Germany plays against Japan next week, the projector screens at Berlin’s Fargo football bar will be in their unusual rolled-up position. The bar, which tailors its regular opening hours to the football schedule, will not even open its doors until an hour after the match is completed.
“We do not agree that the World Cup should take place in a country where the purpose is obviously sports washing and to make the country look different internationally than it actually is,” Fargo spokesperson Joschik Pech told AFP.
Australia: Team Australia released a video urging Qatar to abolish its same-sex laws.
France: Paris, and other French cities, will not screen matches in public areas
Finland: Finland’s largest daily Helsingin Sanomat has cancelled its journalists’ assignment to Qatar to cover the soccer World Cup after finding out they would be accomodated in apartments from which migrant workers had been evicted, the paper’s editor said on Friday.
Meanwhile, Fifa has written to all 32 teams competing at the World Cup telling them to “now focus on the football”. The letter urges that football should not be “dragged” into ideological or political “battles” and it should not be “handing out moral lessons”.