Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell

Following reports of planned “gay tests” by Gulf nations, leading British LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell has called for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be cancelled.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Kuwaiti health ministry intended to conduct medical tests to “detect” gay expatriates “who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states”.

The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Countries) includes Qatar, which was controversially selected by FIFA in 2010 as the host county for the football bonanza in 2022.

Tatchell has now told IBTimes UK that the planned tests “will mean that gay players and spectators will be banned from attending the football world cup”.

He noted that “This contradicts previous assurances given to FIFA by the Qatar government that everyone will be welcome and that there will be no discrimination.

“FIFA now has no option but to cancel the world cup in Qatar. Allowing it to go head in these circumstances would involve FIFA colluding with homophobic discrimination,” insisted Tatchell.

It remains unclear what kind of medical tests the GCC nations intend to use to “detect” gay people.

“There is no known medical test to detect homosexuality,” commented Tatchell. “I wonder what quackery the Kuwaiti authorities plan to invent in their vain attempt to identify gay men. It simply won’t work.”

Responding to concerns that homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA, said in 2010 that gay fans who hoped to attend the World Cup “should refrain from any sexual activities”.

He later apologised for the comment, saying it was meant as a joke.

Homosexuality is outlawed in all GCC countries, which also include Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Punishments include jail time, fines, deportation and even the death penalty.

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