FIFA threatens cancelling Qatar hotel contracts if they reject LGBTQ visitors

It follows an investigation by reporters who posed as gay couples and were denied bookings or told to appear "less gay".


Words: Alastair James; pictures: FIFA/twitter/ @fifamedia

Football's world governing body, FIFA, has threatened to cancel contracts with hotels in Qatar after an investigation found some were denying service to LGBTQ people.

It follows an investigation by a group of reporters from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark who posed as gay couples and tried making bookings from FIFA's recommended list of accommodation for the World Cup.

According to reports, three hotels outright rejected gay couples while 20 more suggested people change their behaviour, effectively asking them to be "less gay". It makes up around a third of the recommended hotels.

"Requirements will continue to be reinforced"

In a statement given to the Telegraph FIFA has said it will "ensure that the hotels mentioned are once again made aware of our strict requirements in relation to welcoming guests in a non-discriminatory manner."

It added: "Hotels, as well as any other service provider associated with the Fifa World Cup, who fail to comply with the high standards set by the organisers will have their contracts terminated.

"On top of that, the said requirements will continue to be reinforced in awareness raising sessions and subsequently monitored and evaluated through audits and inspections of hotels linked to the Fifa World Cup."

As reported by the Mail Online a statement from a Qatar 2022 spokesperson said everyone was welcome regardless of background. 

It added: "Qatar is a conservative country and public displays of affection are frowned upon across the board – regardless of sexual orientation. We simply ask for people to respect our cultural norms, but also emphasise the strong culture of respect for individual privacy which exists throughout Qatar."

This is the latest concern to LGBTQ football fans regarding the World Cup. 

In April, fans were warned rainbow flags may be confiscated after originally being told they wouldn't. A senior official overseeing security in Qatar said it would be done "to protect" people. 

Despite this, LGBTQ fans have been told they will be welcome

Homosexuality is illegal in the Middle-Eastern country and punishable with up to three years in prison, or death under Sharia law.

In March, 16 LGBTQ groups signed a letter warning of safety risks and concerns for fans travelling for the World Cup.

The World Cup takes place in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

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