Several non-governmental organizations played a symbolic match this Tuesday in front of the FIFA museum in Zurich, as a call to defend the rights of the LGBT+ community in the World Cup, which begins on November 20th in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
These organizations – All Out, Pink Cross, the Swiss Lesbian Organization (LOS) and Transgender Network Switzerland (TGNS) – staged a half-hour football match that pitted fake representatives of FIFA and Qatar against the LGBT+ community.
Commitment to the rights of LGBT+ people
“With this action we encourage the national football teams, players and sponsors to show their support and commitment to the rights of LGBT+ people in Qatar!” said Justin Lessner, campaign manager for All Out.
The person who represented FIFA wore a shirt of the body that governs world football, while the false representative of Qatar played dressed as a policeman. The two appeared chained, in their goal, to prevent the team that represented the LGBT+ community from scoring a goal.
In the end, the player representing UEFA lifted his shirt and joined the other team in scoring a goal “for love and peace.” They all hugged each other for “love and equality.”
FIFA leaders asked the 32 teams participating in the World Cup (November 20-December 18), marked by controversies over human rights, “to focus on football”, in a letter revealed on November 4.
Khalid Salman ignited the controversy
And the controversy is far from over. A former Qatari international and World Cup ambassador, Khalid Salman, said homosexuality is a “damage to the mind” in an interview to be broadcast on German television on Tuesday.
“These statements are horrible,” lamented the German Minister of the Interior, also in charge of Sports, Nancy Faeser at a press conference, stating that she maintained confidence in the security guarantees for World Cup spectators offered by the Qatari Prime Minister in a recent move to the country.
Homosexuality is illegal in the emirate. Captains of European teams such as England, France or Germany will wear armbands with the colors of the rainbow and the message ‘One Love’ in an anti-discrimination campaign.