Pubs refuse to show Qatar World Cup games due to their poor LGBTQ+ rights record

Pubs and bars around the UK are refusing to show upcoming World Cup games in protest at host Qatar's atrocious human rights record against the LGBT+ community.

Football's biggest competition kicks off on Saturday, but it is already shaping up to be a tournament mired in controversy.

The Arab country bans gay sex with those caught facing severe punishment, including prison or even the death penalty.

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Many LGBT+ fans are urging players and staff to take a bigger stand against the Qatari regime.

Several pubs and clubs in the UK have pledged to create ‘safe spaces’ in their premises by not playing any of the World Cup games.

John Sizzle, 54, co-owner of London-based bar The Glory, told the Mirror: "It’s disappointing that human rights haven’t been considered when putting on an event as big as this one.

"It is extremely problematic. We showed the women’s Euros here because that was really celebratory, but we wouldn’t want to make money from this World Cup.

"Of course we will listen to our customers and if there is demand for it and it’s a celebration then we will put it on but, based on what I’ve seen so far, there won’t be interest."

One pub owner said that if the England team were to make a big stand and call out the nation's poor human rights record, they would consider showing the matches.

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He said: "Unless the English team somehow makes some sort of statement about why they’re there, and if they publicly support queer rights and that sort of thing and try and make a change by being there then maybe we will watch it."

Some bar owners, who had organised tickets for a screening of games, changed their minds after customers raised concerns.

Nicola Moxham, who runs the Mustard Pot in Leeds, usually always shows England games in international tournaments.

"I started to look into it a bit more and realised it is distressing for a lot of people. So we’ve had a U-turn and we’re no longer showing it," she said.

Meanwhile, some drinking spots are instead urging people to donate to LGBTQ+ charities while the tournament is on.

The Key Club music venue in Leeds said: "We wanted to create a safe space where people felt comfortable watching the football.

"However, after careful deliberation and upon further research, we now understand it is best to cancel the upcoming events in response to the ongoing human rights and LGBTQ+ issues surrounding the host nation.

"As an additional mark of our support we will be collecting donations for LGBTQ+ charities at upcoming events at The Key Club."

The Liverpool Arms in Chester said it was refusing to show any of the matches because of the host nation’s "lack of LGBTQ+ rights".

Lawrence Barton, who has three venues in Birmingham and is the director of Birmingham Pride, said none of his establishments would be showing the games.

There have been issues before a ball has even been kicked, with one Danish TV crew reporting from the Qatari capital Doha ordered to stop filming on Tuesday (November 15).

The World Cup organisers have since apologised for "mistakenly interrupting" the broadcast.


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