Why Some LGBTQ Fans Can Skip Qatar World Cup?

Why Some LGBTQ Fans Can Skip Qatar World Cup?

Football has had a tumultuous year so far. A nation with little tolerance for the LGBTQ population is hosting the World Cup in the same year football has been a big advocate for the LGBTQ community. 

The fact that the pendulum recently turned so much in favor of queer visibility and acceptance in sports only exacerbated this absurd reality. In a World Cup filled with so much controversy, Qatar has only made things worse by failing to make a clear statement about LGBTQ rights in the tournament. 

Follow Half A Goal for more in-depth football analysis on controversies surrounding the 2022 World Cup. Here we look at the events that led to this decision by the LGBTQ community.

Reason The Community Is Scared Of Qatar

  •  As the organizing organization for the World Cup in Qatar, the Supreme Committee, is hesitant to offer any assurances, fears for LGBTQ+ soccer fans planning to come to the tournament remain unchanged. According to prior statements by Qatari officials, rainbow flags will be permitted at the event. This was the evasive response to every query about LGBTQ rights.
  • A senior security official in charge of the tournament said in April 2022 that there were plans to take pride flags away from spectators as a safety precaution to keep them from fighting with anti-LGBT supporters.
  • Former football player and Qatari World Cup promotion officer Khalid Salman stated that homosexuality is an “injury in the head” on November 2022. He said that everyone would have to concede that they must follow the laws of the land. The LGBTQ+ community is encouraged to keep their expression to a minimum during the World Cup out of safety.
  • Qatar has stated that everyone is welcome, including LGBTQ supporters, but visitors should respect the country’s customs, in which anyone’s public displays of affection are discouraged. They have infringed on the rights to the expression of individuals that belong to the LGBTQ community. 

Qatar’s Perception Of The LGBTQ Community

Due to its history with labor rights and regulations that make same-sex sexual behavior illegal, the decision to award Qatar the responsibility of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022 has drawn significant criticism.

In 2013, a number of Gulf States, including Qatar, proposed the introduction of tests to bar LGBT people from entering the country. Dr. Yousuf Mendakar, director of Kuwait’s Public Health Department, explained that the proposed plan would have health centers examine travelers’ medical records to detect their sexual orientation allegedly. 

Despite the proposal’s failure, Qatar’s hatred of the LGBTQ people continues to be unrivaled.

Qatar’s Laws Against The LGBTQ Community

Sexual contact between two people of the same sex “without pressure, duress, or ruse” is illegal and punishable by up to seven years in jail under Articles 281 and 285. Since the clause is gender-neutral with regard to the other party, it covers same-sex relationships between women.

With a sentence of one to three years in jail, Article 296 makes it illegal to “guide, incite, or seduce a male in any way to commit sodomy” and “induce or seduce a male or female in any way to perform illegal or immoral actions.

  • Muslim law

Men who engage in same-sex relations may face the death penalty in Qatar’s Sharia courts in addition to the provisions of the Penal Code mentioned earlier.

Reactions Of The LGBTQ Community 

Some LGBTQ rights activists are taking advantage of the occasion to urgently call attention to the circumstances of LGBTQ residents and citizens in Qatar. They want to express their worries about how these folks might be treated once the competition is over and the international media attention diminishes.

  • German soccer fan Dario Minden claimed he wouldn’t watch a single second of the event out of sympathy for LGBTQ people in Qatar. He recently seized the chance to advocate for reform.
  • While Qatari officials have provided some comfort for LGBTQ supporters, Rasha Younes, senior researcher for LGBTQ rights in the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, said that there is still a chance of stigma and discrimination in housing, access to healthcare, and safely reporting potential sexual assault.
  • A coalition of LGBTQ rights organizations submitted demands to FIFA and the Qatari organizers, according to Josie Nixon of the You Can Play Project, which promotes the inclusion of LGBTQ athletes. These included removing discriminatory laws, offering “clear safety guarantees” against harassment, arrest, or incarceration, and making efforts to guarantee the long-term safety of LGBTQ individuals in the area.
  • One of those arguing that LGBTQ individuals in Qatar are not receiving enough worldwide attention is Dr. Nasser Mohamed, an openly gay activist from Qatar who currently resides in the United States. Before the World Cup, he publicly came out and pushed to have the topic broadened.

Qatar’s hatred for the LGBTQ community is not hidden, and the community might just have to sit out this World Cup if a public statement is not released, ensuring their safety in Qatar. The World Cup scenario has brought attention to Qatar and how much they do not tolerate the so-called Western Culture. 

Moving on, so far, it’s best advised that the LGBTQ community either sit out the World Cup or try and abide by Qatar’s rules while they are there. 

FIFA World Cup 2022 Schedule

The FIFA 2022 World Cup is set to kick off on 20th November 2022. In what is deemed one of the most prestigious tournaments in football, 32 teams that have successfully gone through the qualifying stages are divided into eight groups to start the competition.

The World Cup is where stars are born, and beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s where players become legends. It’s where a player can become his country’s hero or villain. Dubbed the first world cup hosted by an Arab country, we look at the World Cup schedule, and injury updates as thirty-two countries head to Qatar. Follow Half A Goal for more updated World Cup news and football news.

World Cup Groups

  • Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
  • Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
  • Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
  • Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
  • Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
  • Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
  • Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
  • Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea


The World Cup Kicks off with the group stage. Here, 32 teams have been divided into eight groups of four countries. Each country plays the other three members of the group twice to conclude the group stage.

Two Countries that finish with the highest points in the group stage qualify for the round of 16. The Schedule for the group stage has already been published, and here is how the teams face up.

November 20

Group A: Qatar vs Ecuador 

November 21

Group A: Senegal vs Netherlands 

Group B: England vs Iran 

                USA vs Wales 

November 22

Group C: Argentina vs Saudi Arabia

                Mexico vs Poland 

Group D: France vs Australia 

                Denmark vs Tunisia 

November 23

Group F: Belgium vs Canada 

                Morocco vs Croatia 

Group E: Germany vs Japan 

                Spain vs Costa Rica 

November 24

Group G: Switzerland vs Cameroon

                Brazil vs Serbia 

Group H: Uruguay vs South Korea 

                Portugal vs Ghana

November 25

Group A: Qatar vs Senegal 

               Netherlands vs Ecuador 

Group B: England vs USA

               Wales vs Iran 

November 26

Group C: Poland vs Saudi Arabia 

                Argentina vs Mexico 

Group D: Tunisia vs Australia 

                France vs Denmark

November 27

Group E: Japan vs Costa Rica

                Spain vs Germany 

Group F: Belgium vs Morocco

               Croatia vs Canada 

November 28

Group G: Cameroon vs Serbia 

                South Korea vs Ghana 

Group H: Brazil vs Switzerland 

                Portugal vs Uruguay 

November 29

Group A: Netherlands vs Qatar

              Ecuador vs Senegal 

Group B: Wales vs England 

                Iran vs USA 

November 30

Group D: Australia vs Denmark 

                Tunisia vs France 

Group C: Poland vs Argentina 

               Saudi Arabia vs Mexico 

December 1

Group F: Croatia vs Belgium 

               Canada vs Morocco 

Group E: Costa Rica vs Germany 

               Japan vs Spain

December 2

Group G: South Korea vs Portugal 

                Ghana vs Uruguay 

Group H: Serbia vs Switzerland 

               Cameroon vs Brazil 

Venue And Kick-Off Time

Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Education City Stadium, and Al Janoub Stadium are the eight stadiums where the group games will be played. Now specific stadiums are allocated to particular groups in the following manner;

  • Stadiums in Groups A, B, E, and F will play in Al Bayt, Khalifa International, Al Thumama, and Ahmad bin Ali.
  • Stadiums in Groups C, D, G, and H will play in Al Janoub Stadium, Education City Stadium, and Stadium 974.

The first two rounds of the group stage take off at 13:00, 16:00, 19:00, and 22:00, and the final round and knockout stage matches simultaneously at 18:00 and 22:00. All times are local, Atlantic Standard Time (AST) (Coordinated Universal Time UTC)+4).

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Important Players Set To Miss The World Cup

  1. Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands): 

Georginio Wijnaldum, a Dutch midfielder for Roma, will not play in this year’s World Cup after he fractured the tibia in his right leg. He isn’t allowed to partake in any intense activity because of the severity of his injury. 

  1. Timo Werner (Germany) 

RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup owing to an ankle injury. In Leipzig’s final UEFA Champions League group match, Werner suffered an injury. According to a statement from the club, examinations revealed that he had unfortunately damaged the syndesmosis ligament in his left ankle, putting him out for the remainder of 2022.

  • N’golo Kante & Paul Pogba (France)

The defending champion France is devastated by the news that they will be without their key players in midfield in the 2022 World Cup. Chelsea’s French midfielder Kante was ruled out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup tournament after Chelsea said in October that he would require surgery to repair a hamstring injury and would likely miss four months of action.

Due to a knee injury, Paul Pogba of Juventus, who played with N’Golo Kante in midfield during France’s 2018 world cup run, will not represent his country in Qatar. Months after his comeback from Manchester United, Pogba underwent knee surgery in September. Pogba suffered a setback while rehabilitating an existing knee injury, ultimately preventing him from competing in the world cup.

The World Cup was scheduled for this year, unusually, due to the weather in Qatar. Domestic football competitions have to go on a break to accommodate a winter World Cup. The schedule above covers the group stage where participants are confirmed, and it will proceed as stated. Despite key injuries, we are in for an exciting tournament with nerve-wracking moments and lots of emotions. 

2022 FIFA World Cup Injury News: Paul Pogba And Romelu Lukaku

In an unfortunate trend of events, certain key players have sustained ranging from minor to major injuries when it’s only a few weeks to the World Cup. Emotions are high in this period; some players are in a dilemma as they have already been ruled out of the tournament, while for others, it is a race against time to regain fitness before the tournament.

This World Cup is probably the last dance for a number of iconic football players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar, to mention a few, so you understand why it’s a no-miss show for a lot of players. Among the players whose participation in the World Cup is in doubt, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku are two important players whose respective countries will be gutted to play without. 

About Both Players’ Injury

Paul Pogba

  • Pogba’s reunion with Juventus has now gone as planned. The French Midfielder, who became a star at the Italian side, is yet to make a single competitive appearance since he joined the club in the summer. 
  • Pogba’s injury problem dates back to his time in Manchester. In his last season with United, he struggled to play half of premier league games as he was in and out of the hospital with a recurrent injury. 
  • Upon his arrival at Juventus, hoping to have a fresh start and put his dark days at Manchester behind him, Pogba suffered a setback as he sustained another injury during the preseason campaign with Juventus. After a scan, it was determined that Pogba’s preseason knee injury was a ruptured meniscus requiring surgery. He was reportedly sidelined for two months as a result of this injury. 
  • Once again, Paul Pogba suffered another setback on the road to recovery; he incurred a thigh injury during practice as he was recovering from meniscus surgery, which has ultimately ruled him out of the World Cup. 

Romelu Lukaku 

  • Romelu Lukaku had a time to forget in his second stint at Chelsea FC. The Belgian failed to replicate the form that made the Blues pay a record-breaking club fee for him. It was a nightmare season for the Belgian, who failed to register double digits in goals despite playing in 26 premier league games
  • Lukaku returned to Inter Milan via a loan deal from Chelsea, and immediately, it looked like the Belgian had rediscovered his form. Unfortunately, during a training session in August, Lukaku suffered a thigh strain that potentially kept him out of Inter Milan’s Champions League group stage games and a quarter of the league games. 
  • Less than a week after his return to the Inter’s lineup, Lukaku sustained a strain in the hamstring of his left thigh, and this is the same muscle that sidelined him for two months. A relapse in recovery has put the future of the Belgian striker in the World Cup in doubt. 
  • Lukaku is in his prime, and for a player who rarely got injured to now be experiencing back-to-back injuries is a hard pill to swallow.

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How Does Pogba’s Injury Affect France?

  • In the 2018 World Cup, France relied heavily on Paul Pogba to win the tournament, but Les Bleus will now have to make the long journey to the 2022 FIFA World Cup without the dynamic midfielder. His Partnership with N’golo Kante in France’s midfield was beautiful, but sadly, both players are set to miss the 2022 World Cup. 
  • The France midfield appears abnormally sparse without Pogba, and the defending champions must develop new strategies given potential absences, including at other positions.
  • Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga of Real Madrid were always set to make the team, but they may now be in line for significant World Cup playing time. France doesn’t have a profile-for-profile replacement for Paul Pogba, but Eduardo Camavinga might be the closest thing to Pogba in the France national team. 
  • France can only hope to make a decent run in the World Cup with Pogba, as a successful defense of their title will be nothing short of a miracle. 

How Will Lukaku’s Absence Affect Belgium?

  • Lukaku is Belgium’s all-time top goalscorer, with 68 goals in 102 appearances. Beyond reasonable doubt, Lukaku is a top-ten active striker in football, and although his short second stint at Chelsea might have caused some doubts over his ability. The Belgian was on the path of silencing his doubters before he got injured.
  • Lukaku is Belgium’s primary goal scorer. They don’t have another natural finisher like Lukaku. Michy Batshuayi might be a replacement, but can he bang in goals like the Inter Milan forward?
  • Belgium coach Roberto Martinez emphasized the value of Lukaku to the Belgium national team and described him as irreplaceable. Romelu Lukaku’s absence from the World Cup would require Belgium to alter their style of play and likely use more attackers. 
  • The Belgians are more of a toothless cub without Romelu Lukaku leading the frontline. One thing is for sure; they will need him to make any significant run in the tournament. 

Both Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku are very important members of their respective national teams. Pogba is completely ruled out of the World Cup, while Belgium can only hope to have Lukaku back in time. Belgium’s hopes of making a significant run in the tournament rest on the shoulders of the prolific striker. 

Follow Half A Goal for more World Cup injury news, updates, and previews.