OPINION - Talking Point: What do you think of Qatar hosting the World Cup?

There are strict laws fans have been told to observe if they want to visit Qatar  (Christopher Pike/Getty Images for Supreme Committee 2022)
There are strict laws fans have been told to observe if they want to visit Qatar (Christopher Pike/Getty Images for Supreme Committee 2022)

With the World Cup less than a month away, human rights in this year’s host nation of Qatar are coming into sharper focus.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly caused outrage as he urged football fans visiting the tournament to show “a little bit of flexibility and compromise” and to “respect the culture” of the host nation, where homosexuality remains a crime.

Former England footballer and BBC presenter Gary Lineker questioned those comments, tweeting: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything Gay. Is that the message?”

Conservative Party chairman Nadhim Zahawi has since offered a differing view on what should be expected of fans – but said he will still consider going to the tournament himself.

"You should not compromise on your identity or your sexuality or your sexual preference in any way,” Zahawi said, also speaking to LBC.

Meanwhile, Australia have become the first team participating in the World Cup to collectively criticise Qatar’s human-rights record.

“There are universal values that should define football values, such as respect, dignity, trust, and courage,” the players said. “When we represent our nation, we aspire to embody these values.”

They also said reforms to date do not go far enough. “This must include establishing a migrant-resource centre, an effective remedy for those denied their rights, and the decriminalisation of all same-sex relationships.”

What do you think of Qatar hosting the World Cup? Let us know in the comments below for the chance to be featured on the ES website.

Yesterday we asked: What do you think of Rishi Sunak reappointing Suella Braverman?

On Instagram, donaldrjh commented: “Appalling. He knows it was wrong but willing to accept that to buy the votes of the right wing contingent in his party to secure the leadership. If one has no values, it comes back to bite them as we saw with Johnson.”

lindathomasuk said Braverman is back too soon: “Out of order. Only 6 days out of office- punishment doesn’t fit the crime!”

zephyrus_adamas described the move as “Disappointing and wrong”, while karengunn5748, maggied4496, no_to_indyref2 and violetathena_ all called it “disgusting”.

beeleca was more forgiving, saying: “Couldn’t care less. It’s all about Sunak and what he does anyway. New start that’s what I say.”