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'I love men. This is normal,' man tells Qatar ambassador as they prepare to host football World Cup

'The rule that football is for everyone is so important. We cannot allow you to break it, no matter how rich you are,' Darion Minden said.

'I love men. This is normal,' man tells Qatar ambassador as they prepare to host football World Cup
Image Source: DW Sports/Twitter

Trigger Warning: The following story contains details of crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community, which can be disturbing for readers.

"I’m a man and I love men. I do — please don’t be shocked — have sex with other men. This is normal," Darion Minden, a representative of the German association of fan groups bravely announced to the Qatar Ambassador. He was criticizing the anti-LGBTQIA+ laws of Qatar at a human rights conference that the German Football Association organized on Monday in Frankfurt, Germany, according to LGBTQ Nation.

Qatar, which is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup beginning this November, is being questioned for its barbaric laws against the queer community. Concerns have been raised for the welfare of the queer community during the 2022 World Cup. Speaking with the ambassador of Qatar, Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, at the conference, Miden stated, "So, please get used to it, or stay out of football. Because the most important rule in football is, football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between."



He continued by urging to abolish anti-LGBTQIA+ laws in Qatar. "So, abolish the death penalty. Abolish all of the penalties regarding sexual and gender identity," he said. In conclusion, Minden said, "The rule that football is for everyone is so important. We cannot allow you to break it, no matter how rich you are. You're more than welcome to join the international football community and also, of course, host a big tournament. But in sports, it is how it is. You have to accept the rules."

People from the LGBTQIA+ community have fought for basic human rights for decades but continue to face resistance from various governments around the world. Qatar penalizes homosexuality with the death penalty, according to Equaldex. The form of penalties varies around the country with the most intense being stoned to death. Authorities prohibit things related to gender identity and sexual orientation in popular media. According to those subjected to government repression, people are arrested based on their internet activities, according to Human Rights Watch.



Despite the torturous laws for their own citizens, Qatar has promised to welcome LGBTQIA+ foreigners during the 2022 World Cup, wrote Washington Blade. Al Thani was guaranteed a chance to answer, but that part of the conference wasn't televised as it was off limits to the general public and the press. Even though the event was headlined "Sport and Human Rights," Al Thani allegedly complained to those in attendance that the World Cup was being distracted by the human rights problem. He said, "We all care about human rights. But I would have enjoyed (it) more if I saw some concentration not only on just one subject but the enjoyment of football and the football effect on people around the world."



Dr. Nasser Mohamed, a gay Qatari doctor living in San Francisco, has initiated a petition asking FIFA and Qatar to uphold the rights of LGBTQ residents and tourists in Qatar. The petition's website mentions that Qatar, "is a dangerous place to be LGBT+." It further adds, "To be LGBT+ in Qatar means living in constant fear for your health, safety and even your life. " 



Casey Stoney, a former England women's football player who is openly lesbian, criticized FIFA for choosing Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup in 2014 and vowed not to attend. After multiple stories on LGBTQ topics were suppressed from The New York Times' international edition in Qatar and other nations, FIFA started an inquiry

Eight World Cup teams—England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Wales—have announced that their players will wear anti-discrimination armbands to draw attention to the problem of human rights in Qatar. Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, a top Interior Ministry official in charge of the football tournament's security, warned potential guests in April that rainbow flags may be stripped away "for their protection." More recently, even single straight soccer fans began complaining that they couldn't get hotel rooms because of the nation's prohibition of extramarital sex. 

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