Some World Cup hotels in Qatar refused to allow same-sex couples to stay and others asked guests to avoid public displays of affection, an investigation has found.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar – but FIFA and the Qatari authorities have previously insisted everyone is welcome at this year’s tournament.
However, a team of Norwegian, Swedish and Danish journalists said they contacted 69 hotels on FIFA’s official list of recommended accommodation – posing as a newly married gay couple – and found three that refused to accept accommodation. reservations.
Twenty other hotels said they would accommodate them as long as they did not publicly show they were gay.
Thirty-three hotels had no problem and were happy to reserve rooms for same-sex couples, Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Swedish SVT and Danish DR reported.
“FIFA is confident that all necessary measures will be in place for LGBT+ supporters so that they, like everyone else, can feel welcome and safe during the championships,” the world football governing body told reporters. journalists in its response to their investigation.
He added that he informed the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) during the World Cup of the findings.
The committee said Qatar is a “conservative country” but is “committed to providing an inclusive FIFA World Cup experience that is welcoming, safe and accessible to all”.
He added, however, that he would take action against hotels that did not comply.
“More than 100 hotels in Qatar that will host visiting football fans, players, officials and other key stakeholders will be required to comply with the sustainable sourcing code,” a committee spokesperson said. to the Reuters news agency.
“As a result, hotel operators complying with the Sustainable Sourcing Code are then vetted and assessed.
“CS treats any violation of this code or instances of discrimination with the utmost seriousness.
“We would like to receive further information on these allegations in order to ensure that any partner associated with the FIFA World Cup does not fall below the expected standards.”
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England manager Gareth Southgate had previously expressed concerns, saying in March he was unhappy some fans did not feel safe traveling to the event due to human rights concerns in the country.
In the same month, FIFA President Gianni Infantino told the Associated Press news agency: “Everyone will see that everyone is welcome here in Qatar, even if we talk about LGBTQ+.”
The World Cup in Qatar will take place from November 21 to December 18.