In December of 2010, FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup bid to Qatar, a small nation the size of Connecticut bordering Saudi Arabia. Qatar’s bid beat out bids from the United States, Australia, South Korea, and Japan, and has been dogged by accusations of bribery, a worrisome death rate for foreign workers living in squalid conditions, as well as logistical questions regarding hosting a summer tournament in 120-degree heat in stadiums boasting technology that doesn’t exist. Anyhow, severe corruption and worker exploitation aside, today Qatari officials raised eyebrows when they effectively said that gays would not be permitted to attend the event. Homosexual sex is illegal in Qatar.
From SB Nation:
Asked how gay people will be welcomed in 2022, Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali replied: “It’s exactly like the alcohol question.”
He said Qatar doesn’t want to create “this impression, illusion that we don’t care about our tradition and our ethical values … We are studying all these issues. We can adapt, we can be creative to have people coming and enjoying the games without losing the essence of our culture and respecting the preference of the people coming here. I think there is a lot we can do.”