England manager Gareth Southgate believes it is a shame that some fans will not travel to Qatar for the World Cup. The treatment of migrant workers in the Gulf has been a big talking point since it was awarded the World Cup in 2010. Homosexuality is punishable with a prison sentence while women’s rights are tighter compared with the rest of the world. Southgate believes he is more clear about the issues of hosting the World Cup in the region and is set to discuss it with the squad.
“I think I’m quite clear on the areas of concern about this tournament,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “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,” he added. “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. I don’t think it’s something where we’re just going to be able to come out with a statement that will satisfy everything.”
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