You can’t call yourself an LGBTQ+ ally if you’re watching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

You love to party with us at Pride so why are you supporting homophobia?

The Qatar 2022 winter World Cup has started in a country where human rights don’t exist for the LGBTQ+ community. If you are at home watching, in the pub with friends when a game is on, doing a sweepstake at work or if you’re engaging positively with the World Cup – you are not an ally.

People like you love to party with us at Pride. You are always in our bars and sharing Instagram tiles on LGBTQ+ issues but you don’t really care about us. Brands love stamping the Pride logo on everything once a year but the second things get tricky or political everyone vanishes into thin air. LGTBQ+ people face being murdered for existing in Qatar but your favourite footballers aren’t even willing to risk getting a yellow card for making a small gesture of solidarity towards our community with the OneLove armband – it’s wrong you still cheer them on.

Even with not wearing the OneLove armbands, how are closeted footballers ever meant to come out and accept themselves if their team captain isn’t even bothered by wearing it if it means getting a yellow card? The armband was taken away too easily for my liking, it felt as though not a single fight was put up and no question was asked.

It’s exhausting that we as LGBTQ+ people continue to accept easy words in place of meaningful actions. You are not an ally if you share a post of Alex Scott wearing the armband but your next story is a picture of you and your mates watching the football in the pub. If you support or engage with the World Cup in any capacity then you’re not an ally and it’s as simple as that really. You’re not someone our community can trust if you applaud and support the people who attempt to clear their conscience with big words when they fail to back them up with actions.

Just two weeks ago the Qatar World Cup ambassador described being gay as “damage in the mind.” And this week the Fifa president compared having red hair to homophobia and racism. When you involve yourself in the World Cup, you are supporting and associating yourself with people like this. If hearing this makes you feel uncomfortable then that proves it. If you want to truly support us then you need to do it when it matters.

Fairness, respect and equality are all inherent values of football but they’re not things valued by Qatar. LGBTQ+ fans are being asked to entertain the idea of watching games be played out in a country where our love is considered to be a crime and “damage in the mind.” It is wild to me how you all watch the games guilt free especially when these games are also being played in stadiums built on the backs of unfair working conditions and the death of over 6,500 workers.

If you entertain the World Cup then you are condoning the corruption it was founded on and you are not someone the LGBQT+ community can call an ally. Either keep politics out of football or choose to be an ally – it’s not hard.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

All the British politicians who have spoken out against the World Cup in Qatar

Meet the WAGs of this year’s England World Cup squad who are hoping to bring football home

Explained: This is why so many people are boycotting this year’s World Cup in Qatar

Pride flag photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash. Football stadium by Thomas Serer on Unsplash. Person wrapped with the Pride flag by Josè Maria Sava on Unsplash