Fifa Fails the LGBTQ+ Community


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Netherland’s fans hold up an LGBTQ flag to protest the Qatar World Cup

David Morrison, Reporter

The governing soccer body that commonly celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, The International Federation of Association Football (Fifa), awarded Qatar with the World Cup tournament. Leaving many soccer fans outraged. 

Soccer fans are angry about how the Fifa federation chose a country that jails members of the LGBTQ+. Many speculate that the reason Fifa chose Qatar, is because of corruption and the prioritization of money. 

Elsa Koenig, an Emery girl’s soccer player, said, “Fifa is an organization that goes out of its way to support pride. Choosing a country to host the World Cup that represses the rights of LGBTQ+ members is an embarrassment to the soccer community.”

In 2016, Fifa decided to adopt the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This requires Fifa to “avoid infringing on the human rights of others and address adverse human rights impacts.” Fifa demonstrates its agreement with the UN by changing its social media account profiles to rainbows for pride month. Fifa hosting the World Cup in Qatar appears to be a complete contradiction to their beliefs. 

Sammy Berman, a member of the Emery boy’s soccer team, also commented, “I am disappointed in the decisions made by Fifa. They are obligated to follow the UN Guiding Principles. How could they make this decision?” 

Many professional soccer players are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and they will be at risk of hate crimes and general danger while in Qatar to play the game they love. Furthermore, many LGBTQ+ soccer fans traveling to Qatar are concerned about their safety. Overall, the lack of care for the safety of the LGBTQ+ community is a disappointment to soccer fans worldwide. 

Dylan Kessler, a former member of the Emery boy’s soccer team, also commented, “I am scared for the safety of the LGBTQ soccer players and fans who will travel to the World Cup. I am also disappointed in how Fifa prioritized money over human rights by having a World Cup in a homophobic state.” 

The United States Department of Justice claimed that Qatari officials bribed Fifa for the hosting rights of the 2022 World Cup. Five different Fifa officials were paid in 2010 to vote on Qatar, a desolate desert country with no stadiums, over bids from England, Spain-Portugal, and Holland-Belgium. Many soccer fans feel angry about Fifa’s corruption.

Rafa Sharpe, a member of the boy’s soccer team, stated, “This is a complete disgrace to the soccer community. Fifa deciding to have World Cup in a homophobic country clearly outlines the corruption in the organization.” This decision heavily affected the Emery community, and the Fifa fandom worldwide.