‘We stand in solidarity with the affected communities’: Joe’s is showing the World Cup

A spokesperson for the Guild of Students explained to The Birmingham Tab why they have decided to show the World Cup, despite it being held in Qatar

The World Cup has been going on for over a week now, and as of yesterday after a 3-0 win against Wales, England are through the group stages.

Over the past 10 days of the World Cup, Joe’s Bar have been showing England games as well as some others. There is controversy over whether pubs and venues should show the World Cup as it is being hosted in Qatar. Qatar is known for its unequal treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, women and other minorities.

The Birmingham Tab reached out to the Guild of Students to see why their on campus bar, Joe’s Bar has decided to go ahead with the showing of World Cup games.

A spokesperson for the Guild of Students said: “The Guild of Students acknowledges the poor human rights record in Qatar, particularly for LGBTQ+ people, migrant workers, women, and non-binary people, and we stand in solidarity with the affected communities. We believe that the World Cup brings a chance to spotlight the practices within Qatar that negatively affect women, the LGBTQ+ community, and migrant workers, and do not support any practices that severely affect these marginalised groups.

“As the Guild is the Students’ Union for such a diverse membership, we realise that the World Cup is incredibly important to some home and international students. It’s for this reason that we decided to show the tournament, so that those students wishing to watch matches could do so in a free, safe, inclusive and student-only venue.  We appreciate that not everyone will agree with this decision, but we respect their right to disagree, debate and campaign on the issues highlighted.”

The Guild is also having one bar as a football-free zone for any students who wish to boycott the World Cup. “In order to ensure that all students feel welcome within the Guild during the tournament, we are opening Mermaid Bar as a World Cup free zone when matches are being shown; students can eat and drink in this venue during all matches if they choose to do so.”

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