Gay couples will be able to openly hold hands, cuddle and kiss during the Qatar World Cup, despite the Arab state’s ban on public displays of affection, it has been learned.
Despite the new development, there are fears that once the World Cup is over, LGBTQ+ people in the country who enjoy temporary freedom will be punished anyway.
According to Mail Online, FIFA held secret meetings with Qatar’s interior ministry and persuaded it to stop agents from its preventive security department from arresting gay fans at the World Cup.
Undercover ministry spies are reportedly set to mingle with fans and take the would-be offenders into custody.
Speaking through her office manager, a lesbian secretary told Mail Online: ‘The World Cup has given us the protection we need for maybe a month.
“But you will find very few gay and lesbian Qataris who will believe that there will be no repercussions after the World Cup is over.”
“There may not be any problems while the football is there, but they will catch up with the Qataris afterwards, beat us and imprison us for what they see as bringing shame on the country.”
The 30-year-old added: “As a lesbian woman, I will enjoy the World Cup like other fans, but you won’t see me hugging my girlfriend in Doha.” Certainly not.
“We will keep our relationship private like many others here.”
Despite the temporary measures, the official Foreign Office advice for travelers remains the same, stating simply that “homosexuality is illegal in Qatar”.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly last month warned supporters of England and Wales: “These are Muslim countries; they have a very different cultural starting point (from ours).
“I think it’s important when you’re a visitor to a country to respect the culture of your host country.”
The decision to host the World Cup in Qatar, a country where homosexuality can be punished by death, has come under attack from gay and human rights organizations since the country was announced as the host of the World Cup. 2022.
“LGBT+ people can be harassed by police on the streets and in shopping malls for simply ‘appearing’ gay,” British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell wrote for MailOnline.
“There are reports of LGBT+ people being trapped by police using gay dating apps and being murdered in ‘honour’ killings by their families,” he added.