‘You can be attacked for raising rainbow flags during World Cup’ – Qatar cautions LGBT groups

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This comes from Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, who is the director of the Department of International Cooperation and Chairman of the National Counterterrorism Committee at the Ministry of Interior.

According to him, the safety of gay groups that try to demonstrate in the stands during the World Cup cannot be guaranteed.

“If he (a fan) raised the rainbow flag and I took it from him, it’s not because I really want to, really, take it, to really insult him, but to protect him,” Al Ansari said, as quoted by Marca.

“Because if it’s not me, somebody else around him might attack (him)… I cannot guarantee the behavior of the whole people. And I will tell him: ‘Please, no need to really raise that flag at this point.'”

Concerns have been raised by pro-LGBTQ+ groups since Qatar were awarded the right to host the World Cup.

Al Ansari, however, insists persons of all sexual orientations are welcome to Qatar, but cautioned against public display of actions that are not acceptable in the Arabic country.

“You want to demonstrate your view about the (LGBTQ) situation, demonstrate it in a society where it will be accepted,” he said.

“We realize that this man got the ticket, comes here to watch the game, not to demonstrate, a political (act) or something which is in his mind.”

He added: “Watch the game. That’s good. But don’t really come in and insult the whole society because of this.

“Reserve the room together, sleep together – this is something that’s not in our concern. We are here to manage the tournament. Let’s not go beyond, the individual personal things which might be happening between these people… this is actually the concept.”

Meanwhile, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has often leapt to the defence of Qatar and its poor human right record, and recently stated that LGBTQ+ groups are welcome to attend the tournament.

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VIAEmmanuel Ayamga
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