Openly gay footballer Robbie Rogers has reminded FIFA to include basic human rights in its guidelines when choosing a host country for the World Cup.
FIFA came under fire in December 2010 when it was announced that Qatar, infamous for its abuses on the rights of gay people and women, won the hosting obligations for the World Cup 2022. Qatar will be the first Arab nation to host the World Cup.
Many human rights campaigners were concerned that gay football fans and players could be subject to humiliating tests, which could include anal probing, to ascertain whether they were gay or not. Currently, gay men and women face between one and three years in prison if caught.
Robbie Rogers who came out in 2013 reminded FIFA about gay and women’s rights and urged the organisation to make those considerations part of the guidelines for future hosting countries. In an interview with GQ he said,
“I would hope that FIFA would be sensitive not only to gay rights but also women’s rights and basic human rights, and they should pick host countries for the World Cup based on what’s best for the competition—that’s what the athletes and fans want.”
“So my goal is to create a dialogue with FIFA and convince them to create guidelines for how they choose countries to host the World Cup going forward, so that they only pick countries that ensure the safety of all the athletes and all the fans.”
In Qatar it has been reported that a small advertising campaign has been started to educate tourists and expatriates about appropriate clothing for men and women to wear in public, suggesting that when in Qatar “you are one of us”.