Everyone is welcome here in Qatar, even when we talk about LGBTQ+, Gianni Infantino confirmed At the FIFA conference in Doha in March.
The message that a World Cup is for everyone has been the message of FIFA President Gianni Infantino for a long time. Recently, in March, the football director stated that he would not meet anyone with a closed door in the desert state, despite the fact that homosexuality is prohibited in the country and according to The pardon can be sentenced to seven years in prison.
But the promise is rooted in them too 69 hotels What does FIFA itself recommend for the World Cup? A survey conducted jointly by NRK, SVT (Sweden) and DR (Denmark) shows that many hotels refuse to accommodate gays.
– No, we do not accept gay couples, Magnum Hotel & Suites Westbay answers when we call and introduce ourselves as a newly married Swedish couple trying to book a room for our honeymoon.
In fact, three of the World Cup hotels rejected the request without concluding it. The three hotels are The Torch Doha, Magnum Hotel & Suites Westbay, and Wyndham Grand Regency.
One hotel indicated that this was “a violation of hotel policy”.
It is not acceptable to “wear gay clothes”
Several times, FIFA President Infantino and others have said that it would be a good idea to travel to the World Cup as a gay man. One of Qatar’s security chiefs, Abdulaziz Abdullah Al-Ansari, said in April that it would be safe to be gay in the country during the World Cup.
– Book a room together, sleep together – that’s not something we care about. We are here to organize the tournament. We should not be concerned with the character that occurs among people. That’s the point, said Ansari AP.
In addition, the World Cup Committee has written several official documents They noted that everyone is welcome during the World Cup and that the guidelines also apply to their business partners.
But many hotels presented by the World Cup organizers on their website are still skeptical about gay guests.
In addition to the three hotels that said no to gay couples, 20 hotels responded that they allow lodging, but with clear reservations and recommendations that you shouldn’t appear to be gay. It was also revealed here that open homosexuality in Qatar can have consequences.
– (…) I would like to inform you that we have previously had incidents where the police arrested Qataris in the hotel who were having homosexual relations, as one of the hotels wrote in the survey.
– If you put on make-up and dress as gay, it is against the policy of the state and government. But for our hotel it’s OK (to book a room, editor’s note), if you’re dressed appropriately and don’t show sexual behavior or kissing in public, someone else answers.
Of the hotels recommended by FIFA via the official World Cup website, they had no objection. The rest either will not respond, have not returned to us after the initial dialogue, or are currently operating as Covid quarantine hotels.
– It’s so far
NRK, SVT and DR have presented the results to the football associations of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
– This is of course unacceptable and does not comply with what was promised by the World Cup Committee that there should be a guarantee of legal security (for gays, editor’s note) during the tournament. And in order to feel safe, you need to know in advance that you will be safe. That is where we are now in time, so it has to be in place, says NFF President Liz Clavens.
The Danish Football Association (DBU) responds forcefully:
Honestly, it’s quite far away. We find this disappointing. It is a disappointment for the fans who are going to travel to the World Cup. They cannot feel safe in getting a hotel no matter what their sexuality is. CEO Jacob Jensen tells DR.
FIFA continues to promise security
But how can Gianni Infantino say the World Cup is for everyone when several hotels turn down male gay couples? This was one of the many questions we sent to FIFA.
The specific question was not answered, but instead the FA wrote that host country Qatar is fully aware of its responsibility to comply with FIFA’s expectations and its demands for human rights, equality and anti-discrimination.
This is done, among other things, through “several strategic efforts, which also include the hotel area”, as stated in the FIFA response.
– FIFA is confident that all necessary measures will be taken for LGBT+ supporters, so that they, like everyone else, can feel welcome and safe during the tournament, FIFA answers in an email.
At the same time, FIFA states that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is strictly prohibited.
FIFA tries to create an environment free from discrimination and to promote inequality within the organization and in all its activities and events.
At the same time, the association says it has reported the problem to the Qatar Supreme Committee (World Cup Committee, editor’s note) and is referring to it for further answers.
Supporters are asked to respect Qatari culture
In a written response, the World Cup hosts made it clear that the country is committed to offering an inclusive World Cup, where all participants feel safe and welcome. At the same time, the World Cup Committee stresses that Qatar is a conservative country, and that it is unacceptable to show its love in public, regardless of its orientation.
We ask people to respect our cultural norms, but we also emphasize the strong culture of respect for privacy that exists throughout Qatar, the World Cup organizer answers.
The World Cup host explains that in June 2020, as part of the organizer’s strategies, a protocol was introduced with the task of ensuring that the tournament is held without any discrimination. The Protocol applies to every person – individuals and organizations – who provide goods, services or services to the World Cup.
More than 100 hotels in Qatar that accommodate football fans, players, officials and other stakeholders will have to comply with the protocol. As a result, these hotels are subject to continuous monitoring and evaluation, the World Cup Committee wrote.
The World Cup Committee takes any violations of this protocol or cases of discrimination very seriously. We would like more information on these allegations to ensure that all parties associated with the World Cup are up to the expected standards.
They denied that they do not accept homosexuals
After receiving responses from the hotels as a fictitious gay couple, I contacted NRK, SVT and DR again to get the official policy of the three hotels refusing to stay.
Magnum Hotel & Suites Westbay confirms that the hotel’s official policy is to deny entry to homosexuals.
The Torch Doha first denied over the phone that it had denied entry to gays, despite the fact that it was written in black and white in the hotel’s first email. In a new response, they wrote that the hotel’s policy does not trump the stance of the World Cup organizer, and that everyone is welcome. They also wrote that it is not acceptable to show love in public.
The newest hotel, the Wyndham Grand Regency, continues to deny allowing gays to stay in their hotels. Wyndham says it’s not the hotel’s rules, but they do follow Qatar’s laws.
– It might change to the World Cup, we don’t quite know what the rules are. There are some rules that can be changed during the World Cup. They will make some exceptions, the hotel says.
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