Rainbow flags, which are symbolic to the LGBTQ community, would not be allowed at the FIFA Football World Cup 2022 in Qatar. The head of security for the FIFA WC said that rainbow flags could be taken from fans to protect them from being attacked for promoting gay rights.
While talking to the Associated Press, Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, the head of security for the FIFA World Cup, said that they (Qatar) are not against individual personal things, but they won’t tolerate a ‘political demonstration’ at the FIFA WC.
Al Ansari is the chairman of the National Counterterrorism Committee at the Ministry of Interior and the director of the Department of International Cooperation.
“If he (a fan) raised the rainbow flag and I took it from him, it’s not because I really want to, really, take it, to really insult him, but to protect him,” Al Ansari told the AP.
Because if it’s not me, somebody else around him might attack (him) … I cannot guarantee the behaviour of the whole people. And I will tell him: ‘Please, no need to really raise that flag at this point.’”
Further, Al Ansari said that his government is not against individual freedom, but Qatar cannot ‘change the religion for 28 days of WC’. Despite same-sex relations being criminalised in Qatar, all kinds of people would be welcomed.
“Reserve the room together, sleep together — this is something that’s not in our concern,” he said. “We are here to manage the tournament. Let’s not go beyond, the individual personal things which might be happening between these people … this is actually the concept.”
“Here we cannot change the laws. You cannot change the religion for 28 days of the World Cup.”
“Watch the game. That’s good. But don’t really come in and insult the whole society because of this (LGBTQ activism),” he added.