Acceptance. A word that springs to mind when I think back to the years of campaigning and fighting for basic human rights. When you look at todayâ€™s society, you can see just how far weâ€™ve come as a nation in gaining that acceptance through changes not only in the legislative sense, but in gaining an acceptance in these basic simple rights. That is why in light of recent events, I have been shocked and sickened to see such awareness and work to be overshadowed and under played. Earlier this week, Fifa announced Russia and Qatar to be the two countries selected to host the 2018 and 2022 major events.
Whilst the results were celebrated throughout the two countries, outrage began to sneak in as other bidding countries felt the decision had been based on money as opposed to the game. For me however, the first thing that sprang to mind was my time Iâ€™d spent residing in Qatar, an experience I had put tightly towards the back of my mind, until now.
As a gay man, having lived in Qatar, and more importantly, escaping its land to avoid the ….. it seemed somewhat ludicrous that such a large, worldy sporting event would dismiss what has and still goes on. “Maybe the laws have changed since I left Qatar” I think to myself, until see that homosexuality is still very much illegal there, and it can still result in imprisonment and lashings. Yes Lashings, which prompts the questions, “how do Fifa justify their decision” “how has this escaped the media attention this should have received” and what will happen to the gay football fan’s, or even players that wanted to go to the World Cup. Are they merely not to go, or “are we allowed” if we pretend not to be gay! A suggestion that was made to me.
The sheer fact that these considerations have been swept under the carpet also raises a big alarm for me, especially when it is an organization as large as Fifa. It also somehow shows and indicates how much work still needs to be done to gain equality in areas such as sporting events. As for myself, and an avid Football fan, I will be doing my best to highlight and encourage that changes are needed.
To simply accept in the first place that Fifa donâ€™t see a problem in holding the World Cup in a country where homosexuality is illegal and can result in jail or lashing, AND the fact that this even goes on in todayâ€™s society throughout over __ countries.
Everyone has a choice, and everyone has a voiceâ€Ś. And its time to use both and do something about it.