FIFA’s decision to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was attacked today by Britain’s gay footballing body.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state and consenting sexual acts can be punished with up to five years in prison.
Yesterday the Gay Football Supporters Network (GFSN) vowed to boycott all activities associated with 2022 World Cup.
A statement said: ”We do not feel the World Cup should be held in any country that abuses and disregards the basic human rights of LGBT people.
”FIFA president Sepp Blatter talks of his wish for inclusivity and to bring the game to the whole world.
”By holding the competition in Qatar he is alienating the millions of LGBT football fans around the globe who will feel unwelcome in a homophobic country where they can be arrested just for being themselves.”
Ed Connell, GFSN Campaigns Officer, added: ”We are deeply concerned with FIFA’s decision to appoint Qatar as the host nation for the 2022 World Cup.
”The LGBT community is unlikely to want to attend football’s greatest tournament in a country where homosexuals can be imprisoned for up to five years.”
A FIFA spokesman said the organisation has a long-standing record in the fight against all forms of discrimination in football.
He said: ”In article three of the FIFA Statutes states that discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.
”All member associations of FIFA have the obligation to comply with the FIFA Statutes.
”It is also fair to recall that, in the past, the FIFA World Cup has helped to overcome social challenges and change perceptions in the countries where it has been organised.”