After Josh Cavallo, who became the only current openly gay professional footballer in the world when he came out last month, worried about his participation in next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, tournament manager assured that the Adelaide player would be welcomed would be called in the land.
Illegally in Qatar, homosexuality is punishable, ranging from flogging to imprisonment and even execution. However, tournament organizer Nasser Al Khater said Qatar is like any other society in the world and assured that “no one here feels threatened.”
Speaking to CNN, Al Khater said: “We welcome him here in the state of Qatar, we welcome him to come and see, even before the World Cup. Nobody feels threatened here, nobody feels insecure here.
“I think, unfortunately, maybe he gets this perception because of reading a lot of these accusations or reading a lot of these news stories that shine a negative light. Qatar is like any other society in this world. Everyone is welcome .
Josh’s truth pic.twitter.com/NKSEP2kVWV
– Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) October 27, 2021
Al Khater insisted that there was nothing to worry about other than public display of affection. “Listen, the public of grace is rejected, and that’s all over the place – over the whole breadth. Qatar is a modest country. That’s all that needs to be respected. Other than that, everyone is free to live their lives.
“Sy [gay people] will come to Qatar as fans of a football tournament. They can do what any other human being would do. What I’m saying is Qatar, by a factor of public-view-of-affect, is conservative. ”
Al Khater accepted that the World Cup could be used as a platform for protests against Qatar, but said this was not a concern for organizers.
“All scenarios are open and all scenarios are on the table,” he said. “Are we worried about that? No, I would not say we are worried about it.”
– Josh Cavallo (@JoshuaCavallo) October 27, 2021
Cavallo, 21, became the first active A-League player to come out as gay, saying he was done with the shame of his sexuality and the exhaustion of trying to live a ‘double life’.
“I’m a footballer and I’m gay. All I want to do is play football and be treated equally.” the 21-year-old had said in a video posted on Adelaide’s social media, drawing support from fellow professionals around the world.
The Australian Professional Players’ Union said it was a ‘wonderful moment’ for him, the sport and “the LGBTI + community” and Cavallo’s fellow professionals also offered support.