Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Friday, 26 October 2018
The FIFA Statues of April 2016 (Clause 4) explicitly states that discrimination based on sexual orientation or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.
Qatar has controversially been awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA world Cup. Tens/hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend, and an equally large number are expected to take part in business activities related from construction to tourism as a result of this award.
Not only does homosexual activity in Qatar carry a jail term of up to three years, even mentioning LGBT issues is completely taboo:
i. When commissioned to undertake a survey of attitudes of Qataris, leading international pollster Ipsos MORI refused to even ask questions relating to LGBT rights
ii. The International Edition of the New York Times is printed in Doha. Any article even referencing LGBT rights is left blank - https://abcnews.go.com/International/exclusive-world-cup-spotlight-qataris-cracks-lgbt-news/story?id=56668874
Gianni Infantino, created the organisation’s first human rights policy, which says that FIFA “is committed to addressing discrimination in all its forms.” Mr. Infantino also agreed to apply the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights across all operations.
This will be the first time in our generation that a country that has laws to punish LGBT activity will host the FIFA World Cup, or a major, global sporting event. This clearly puts LGBT people at a direct risk of improsinment and will have a severe adverse impact on any contractual or business activities.
Qatar is spending $200bn on the World Cup, making it the most expensive FIFA event ever. For reference, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil cost just $15bn, and the 2018 Russia World Cup cost $14bn.
By awarding Qatar the right to host 2022, FIFA has put LGBT businesses and individuals at a severe competitive disadvantage and further contributes to discrimination.
For example, non-LGBT people who will be sent by major companies to Qatar will likely receive promotions, pay rises and other financial incentives etc, that LGBT people will not have access to. This therefore is not only leading to direct discrimination against LGBT business and people, but also will have a knock on effect on the long term, including on LGBT rights in the UK.
Companies bidding for contracts will need to:
i. ban their LGBT employees from working on projects in Qatar for their own safety
ii. force their LGBT employees to hide their identity
iii. not bid on work, therefore giving a competitive advantage to companies from countries with restrictions on LGBT rights, or a weaker stance on LGBT visibility than the UK, or UK companies that are willing to play fast and loose with their LGBT employees
It is only a matter of time before a British citizen is detained by the Qatari authorities.
If arrested/jailed, even if the UK government is able to secure a UK citizen's release, which is not clear, their ability to do business across the Middle East will be destroyed. At worse they could spend up to three years in jail.
We call on all UK companies to cease working on FIFA 2022 projects in Qatar until Qatar annuls its anti LGBT laws and guarantees to give all those working on FIFA-related projects all the legal and personal protection needed. We call on UK companies to send nobody, LGBT or straight, to Qatar. Even sending straight people could be considered discrimination under UK law.
We call on Qatar to issue a clear, strong, public reassurance that anyone working on a FIFA project will be legally protected, and their rights as LGBT people will not be violated.
We also call on FIFA to implement its own statues and threaten Qatar with expulsion.
We also call upon the UK government to make urgent appeals to Qatar to guarantee that LGBT people from Britain will be immune from prosecution, and that a public reassurance is received from the Qatari government.
I think it is key to highlight that this is a disaster waiting to happen. If action isn't taken now we are risking the arrest and detention of a LGBT person.
Monday, 22 October 2018
Would you be interested to join me in a discussion on the 5th November at 6:30pm at a central Location?
Drinks and nibbles will be served.
The discussion will be centred on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and what does it mean for the LGBT rights there and to us as LGBT business people .
As you may know homosexuality is illegal there, FIFA has asked for assurances that LGBT rights be respected during the World Cup.
It should last about an hour but do please anticipate up to 2 hours of your time.
A statement will be made at the end of the discussion.
Please reply by email if you are interested to join me on the 5th November and I will give you details of the location, although space will limit the attendance.
I very much look forward to hearing from you.