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Southgate calls absence of some fans in Qatar 'a great shame'

Sun 20 March 2022 | 11:45

The English coach is worried about the LGBTQ + community, which will not be able to travel to Qatar to watch the World Cup.

England

coach Gareth Southgate claimed that it is a shame that some of the English fans will not be able to travel to

Qatar

.

After the hosting of the 2022 World Cup in 2010 was awarded to Qatar by a controversial vote, many are concerned about the country's treatment of migrant workers and the human rights situation. Male homosexuality can result in imprisonment, gay marriage is not recognized by the government, and women's rights are more restricted than in the rest of the world. Gareth Southgate believes that these are obvious problems in holding competitions in the region and intends to talk to his team before the friendly matches against

Switzerland

and Ivory Coast.

"I think I'm quite clear on the areas of concern about this tournament. The building of the stadiums was the first and there's nothing we can do about that now. They're built.

"There are obviously ongoing concerns about the rights of workers and the conditions they live in and those areas.

"It seems universally accepted that it's better than it was but not in the position where people think it could be. And maybe policies that have been put in place are not always enforced as they might be.

"Then there are the issues that potentially threaten our fans when they travel: the rights of women and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in particular.

"Sadly, through discussions that I've had, I don't think some of those communities are going to go and that's a great shame.

"We stand for inclusivity as a team - that's been the big driver of a lot of the stances we've taken in the last couple of years - and it would be horrible to think some of our fans feel they can't go because they feel threatened or they're worried about their safety."

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