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David Cameron Decries Homophobia in Football

March 22, 2011

During last month’s trip to the Gulf region UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke about, among other issues, the need for tolerance in football in light of the successful 2022 World Cup bid by the nation of Qatar.

After admitting to his counterpart, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Althani, that he felt a “hint of jealousy” as England’s 2018 World Cup bid was declined, Cameron was asked by a reporter for his thoughts on homosexuality in football in the context of the Qatari bid. Concerns had arisen about the inclusion and safety of homosexual players and fans, as homosexuality is illegal under Qatar’s constitutional Shari’a law. FIFA president Sepp Blatter came under fire for flippant comments regarding homosexual fans and players who would be in Qatar for the cup. He later apologized

But the Prime Minister was optimistic that during the World Cup the host nation would treat all fans and players with respect, stating “football is for everybody – no one should be excluded on the basis of their race or religion or sexuality.  It is absolutely vital that is the case. I am sure that will be the case when the World Cup comes here.”

Cameron went on to note the social change power that football has had in his own nation, saying “football can be a great engine for social change and a change of attitudes – we saw in our own country how football drove racism out of the stands. Just as that has happened, so, too, we need to make sure that there is no place for homophobia in football.”

Cameron, as a Conservative MP, has voted against legislative initiatives advancing gay rights in the past but claims to have changed his position on the issue, voting for civil partnerships for gays and lesbians in 2004.

[The Telegraph], [BBC]

-CLH

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Yael permalink
    March 23, 2011 12:27 pm

    I think it’s great that a prime minster speaks about these issues and says supporting things like this.

    Also: “Cameron, as a Conservative MP, has voted against legislative initiatives advancing gay rights in the past but claims to have changed his position on the issue, voting for civil partnerships for gays and lesbians in 2004.” Wow, amazing. This shows people can become more open to other things and change their opinion. If the prime mister of the UK can show such a change then I believe others can become more open to these subjects and change their opinions about them as well.

  2. Greg permalink
    March 24, 2011 9:49 am

    The Qatari penal code prescribes lashes and prison for anyone who isn’t heterosexual. How on earth have football’s governing body FIFA deemed this a suitable place for a World Cup, football’s showpiece competition? How exactly does this marry up with FIFAs stance on homophobia?

  3. Marloes permalink
    March 24, 2011 11:24 am

    I agree with Yael.

    And I hope that the optimistic views of the Prime Minister will become the truth.

  4. Liz permalink
    March 24, 2011 7:47 pm

    Hopefully other world leaders will make similar comments leading up to the World Cup, it is good to have the optimism, but it would also be good to make sure Qatar knows that other countries support letting fans and players not have to hide their identities.

  5. Zparklemotion permalink
    March 29, 2011 9:37 am

    That’s very encouraging to hear him say, national leaders need to be very clear on this. And it’s really great to hear he’s taken a personal turn on the issue of homosexuality as well – it proves that it’s possible to change! Sadly I don’t really have much confidence in Blatter and FIFA, though :/

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