Cardiff SU says women and LGBTQ+ rights ‘non-existent’ in Qatar but it’ll still show games

All World Cup games will be shown in The Taf

Cardiff University Student’s Union has said it will be showing the World Cup games despite “abused or non-existent” women, migrant workers, and LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar.

The SU says whilst it “stands firmly” for those rights, “watching sports” unites students and plays a “pivotal role” among the student community.

At present, in Qatar same-sex conduct between men is punishable by up to seven years imprisonment and Muslim men can face the dealth penalty for their homosexuality. As recently as the 8th November, Kahlid Salman, a 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup ambassador described homosexuality as “damage in the mind” during an interview with a German TV channel. He also remarked that being gay is “haram” which is Arabic for “forbidden.”

Women in Qatar are restricted and required to obtain permission or be accompanied by a dedicated male guardian, their father, brother or husband when getting married, studying, working in government jobs, travelling abroad and receiving some kinds of reproductive healthcare. When married, women can be deemed “disobedient” for not submitting to their husband’s demands. 

Furthermore, The Guardian reported at least 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the country won the bid to host the World Cup.

Cardiff SU went on to say it will work “proactively” to make sure all students feel “safe, included and supported” whilst the World Cup is on.

When the SU screen matches, it will also be “showing our solidarity with the LBGTQ+ community and highlighting the human rights abuses by the Qatar Government”, however the SU has not outlined in practice what that solidarity will look like.

The SU will continue to support its “inclusion initiatives” such as giving out free Rainbow Laces to sports clubs and individuals leading to Welsh Varsity 2023.

Students who have suggestions or need support or guidance are encouraged to get in touch with the uni’s student support and advice service at [email protected].

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