FIFA World Cup 2022: Why kissing is banned in parts of Qatar

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar will throw up a number of cultural clashes. (Getty Images)
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar will throw up a number of cultural clashes. (Getty Images)

The controversial FIFA World Cup held in Qatar is only days away and the all eyes of the world are on the Gulf nation with many waiting to see if controversy unfolds due to cultural misunderstanding.

One of the biggest issues that has plagued Qatar's World Cup before it has even started is the human rights controversies and LGBTIQ+ rights.

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Public displays of affection are frowned upon from heterosexual couples in Qatar.

However, homosexuality is illegal in the conservative Muslim country and according to the Human Dignity Trust the act is punishable by death in the Gulf nation.

While public displays of affection are frowned upon, women are also expected to be in the company of their husbands when out in public.

With hundreds of thousands of travellers entering Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup, there is concern from many nations over how they will be treated.

International hotels are often considered 'offshore zones' in Qatar, which is where buying a drink can also take place.

FIFA reportedly agreed with Qatari officials to allow fans to showcase the pride flag in stadiums and in FIFA designated zones.

However, with the enormous number of people travelling to Qatar from all over the world, what happens surrounding the laws and what has been agreed upon between FIFA and the state remains to be seen.

Qatar officials latest statement causes concern

On November 8, a Qatar World Cup official claimed that homosexuality was 'haram' which means 'forbidden' in the state.

“They have to accept our rules here. (Homosexuality) is haram. You know what haram means?” Khalid Salman said to German broadcaster ZDF.

When posed to why it was considered haram, Salman replied: “I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind.”

This prompted the Human Rights Watch to call for the Qatari government to 'reject the prejudice'.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for a comment to Reuters regarding the interview.

Germany's interior Germany's interior minister Nancy Faeser visited Qatar and condemned the interview.

"Obviously these comments are terrible," she said. said on Tuesday.

Faeser said she had received security guarantees from the local interior minister and prime minister and that this applied to the protection of homosexual fans as well as against possible racist or anti-Semitic attacks.

"I have no new indications from him (Qatari interior minister) now that anything should have changed in this regard," Faeser told reporters.

British voice concern over Qatar visitors

In an interview with Qatar's UK ambassador, Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah couldn't guarantee those visiting that they would be protected in the FIFA zones.

“I think one has to be mindful of the norms and cultures of Qatari society,” he warned.

The British Government is so concerned over the issue that 15 'engagement officers' will reportedly be deployed to make sure there is no cultural misunderstanding in Doha.

During the interview Mohammed Al-Attiyah also wrongfully claimed that public displays of affection are also not tolerated in the UK.

Australia calls out Qatar's LGBTIQ+ suppression

One of the first teams to call out Qatar on a global scale was Australia.

The Socceroos released a video, calling out Qatar's human rights controversy, while specifically addressing the horrible suppression of LGBTIQ+ rights in the conservative Gulf nation.

Captain Mat Ryan delivered a line-by-line statement in the video which raised the suppression occurring within the borders of the host nation.

"As players we fully support the rights of the LGBTI+ people," the players said.

"But in Qatar people are not free to love the person that they choose. Addressing these issues is not easy and we do not have all the answers."

In a breach of FIFA uniform rules, up to eight teams have announced their captain will wear a 'One Love' armband during their appearances at the World Cup.

While there appears to have been assurances over the safety of visitors attending the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, what happens in practice remains to be seen.

with Reuters

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