In 2 months, Qatar will host the Fifa Men’s World cup. It has been twelve years since Qatar was awarded the tournament rights. There have been LGBTQ+ protests since Qatar repressed the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and punished them with up to seven years in prison or even death. Qatar is now the second world cup, where LGBTQ+ football fans will have to worry about attending the tournament in a nation with a poor human rights record. Many footballers and nations have planned ways of protesting Qatar’s laws on homosexuality.
England captain Harry Kane will wear a OneLove armband which features hearts from all backgrounds. England and ten other European football teams will be doing the same to protest same-sex relationships being a criminal offense in Qatar. OneLove was founded in the Netherlands in 2020 to emphasize that football brings everyone together through their love of football and that we shouldn’t exclude or discriminate against anyone.
Mark Bullingham has been told that LGBTQ+ fans won’t be arrested for holding hands or kissing in public at the world cup in Qatar. However, these assurances still don’t make the LGBTQ+ fans comfortable, so most fans will stay away from the world cup, but this isn’t going to stop some LGBTQ+ fans who are still going to travel to Qatar.
This shirt carries with it a message.
We don't wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives.
We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn't the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation. pic.twitter.com/7bgMgK7WzS
— hummel (@hummel1923) September 28, 2022
Eight European teams will wear the OneLove Armbands during their national team matches. The German national team has gone to social media to post about how their captain Manual Neuer will wear the captain’s armband for their upcoming national team matches. Denmark has also announced that their third kit for the world cup will be black to mourn for all who have died building the new stadiums in Qatar for the 2022 tournament. The black kit for Denmark will also serve as a protest against Qatar’s human rights record. They posted the kit on Instagram and used the hashtag #HistoryIsWhatWeDoNow.