The GFSN was established in 1989 as a social network for gay football fans across the country. Since then it has expanded into hosting its own national league and aims to take the lead in tackling homophobia in football.
In a statement the organisation said: “GFSN is shocked to learn that the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be held in Qatar, a country where homosexuality is illegal and consenting sexual acts can be punished with up to 5 years in prison. We strongly condemn FIFA’s decision and will be leading a LGBT boycott of all activities associated with World Cup 2022. We do not feel the World Cup should be held in any country that abuses and disregards the basic human rights of LGBT people.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter talks of his wish for inclusivity and to bring the game to the whole world. By holding the competition in Qatar he is alienating the millions of LGBT football fans around the globe who will feel unwelcome in a homophobic country where they can be arrested just for being themselves.
Says Ed Connell, GFSN Campaigns Officer: “With FIFA’s failure to condemn the recent homophobic remarks of the Croatian manager followed swiftly by their decision to award Qatar the World Cup, it is clear that there is still much progress to be made before football really is for all.”
When asked about gay football fans visiting Qatar, the FIFA President Sepp Blatter is said to have joked: “I would say they should refrain from any sexual activities.”