LGBT+ Pride flags could be confiscated at 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Pride flags could be confiscated from LGBT+ football fans at the World Cup in Qatar to prevent attacks, a security official has said.

Football’s global governing body FIFA has faced severe backlash ever since it announced that the 2022 World Cup would be held in Qatar, where homosexuality is punished with up to seven years in prison, plus a fine. Muslims in the country, under Sharia law, can be punished with the death penalty.

Despite the persecution of LGBT+ people in Qatar, football officials in Qatar and in England have insisted that LGBT+ fans will be safe and “welcome”, and that Pride flags can be displayed.

But now, Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, an official overseeing security at the World Cup, has said that flags could be confiscated for fans’ protections.

According to Metro, he said:‘If he [a fan] raised the rainbow flag and I took it from him, it’s not because I really want to, really, take it, to really insult him, but to protect him.

“Because if it’s not me, somebody else around him might attack [him]… I cannot guarantee the behaviour of the whole people. And I will tell him: ‘Please, no need to really raise that flag at this point.'”

“You want to demonstrate your view about the [LGBT+] situation, demonstrate it in a society where it will be accepted,” he continued.

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