British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron says that gay football fans should not be excluded from the 2022 World Cup.
Cameron made the comment during a visit to the Middle East while standing next to Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al Thani, whose country will host the tournament.
Gay football fans have expressed concern over Qatar’s anti-gay laws and slammed FIFA for awarding the event to the country.
“Football is for everybody – no one should be excluded on the basis of their race or religion or sexuality,” said Cameron in response to a question on the subject. “It is absolutely vital that is the case. I am sure that will be the case when the World Cup comes here.”
He added: “Football can be a great engine for social change and a change of attitudes – we saw in our own country how football drove racism out of the stands. Just as that has happened, so too, we need to make sure that there is no place for homophobia in football.”
The Qatari prime minister commented that he was pleased that the question was not directed at him as this could have embarrassed him.
In December last year, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was criticised after he said that gay football fans “should refrain from any sexual activities” if visiting Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.
He later apologised for the comment.
Qatar’s anti-gay laws have been enforced against gay locals and foreigners in the past. In 1995 an American man was sentenced to six months in prison and 90 lashes for homosexual activity.