Has FIFA failed its LGBTQ+ supporters?
With the Men’s World Cup due to kick off in Qatar this November, has FIFA failed its LGBTQ+ supporters?
It was 12 years ago when Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is due to kick off in November.
The men’s football championship dominates headlines and excites fans right around the world. Thousands will descend on the country to view the spectacle and millions more will watch from afar.
Sport is wonderful thing – often bringing communities together and challenging societal barriers. But there’s a dark cloud hanging over this year’s football event. This will be the first time the FIFA World Cup has been hosted by an Arab country.
There are concerns about the safety and wellbeing of fans travelling to a region that fails to protect a number of fundamental human rights.
In Qatar, homosexuality is illegal and punishable with up to 7 years in prison, or even death in some circumstances. At a sporting event where everyone is supposed to be welcome, many fans won’t necessarily feel safe – if they do decide to attend at all.
TICKER NEWS spoke with former football player Thomas Beattie. On 23 June 2020, Beattie came out as gay during an interview with ESPN. He was one of the first male professional footballers to do so.
Following a career-ending injury, the now 35-year-old said this incident was the trigger he needed to reveal his true self.
“It was big to learn to embrace every part of myself and be ok with it,” he said. “I used to go home and lay on my bed, praying it would all go away. I still think if I was playing now, I’d still not be out.”
Should the World Cup be held in Qatar?
When it comes to the World Cup in Qatar, Beattie is frustrated the pinnacle of men’s football was given to an Arab nation in the first place.
“I don’t think any global sporting event should be hosted in any country that doesn’t have equal rights across the board,” he said.
But FIFA is determined it will be just as spectacular as ever, promising inclusion will be at the forefront of every decision.
“We’ve received the necessary guarantees, we are training all the officials,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.
“We are working hand in hand with the government, with the police authorities, everyone will be welcome.”
There is also hope that having the World Cup in Qatar will be a catalyst of change. Could this moment lead to policy reform and greater protections for the nation’s Queer community?
Regardless, all eyes will be on FIFA and Qatar as fans and players touch down in Doha in November. Will the tournament be remembered for all the right reasons or will it be shrouded in shame?
Rafa Nadal pulls out of French Open
The Spaniard has failed to regain full fitness from a hip injury sustained earlier this year
Rafa Nadal has delivered news that no tennis fan wanted to hear.
The King of Clay will miss the French Open after failing to regain full fitness from a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open back in January.
The 14-time Roland Garros winner says he expects to retire following the 2024 season.
Nadal has dominated the clay court season for close to two decades.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion fronted a widely anticipated press conference at his tennis academy in Mallorca to drop the bombshell, saying its the right thing to do for his body and personal happiness.
“I’ll look to be 100% ready for next year, which I believe will be the last year of my professional career,” Nadal told a news conference at his tennis academy in Mallorca, Spain.
“The evolution of the injury I sustained in Australia has not gone as I would have liked. I have lost goals along the way, and Roland Garros becomes impossible.”
“I’ll not establish a date for my return. I’ll see how my body responds and take it from there,” said the 36-year-old. “If I keep playing at this moment, I don’t think I can be there next year.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to come back in the highest level and compete for Grand Slams. What I will try to do is to give myself the opportunity to go back to what could be my final year competing at the highest level.”
China expresses concerns about ‘politicisation of sports’
The East Asian nation raised the issue when Premier Li met with the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach
China has expressed concerns to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about the politicisation of sporting events.
The issue was raised when Chinese Premier Li Qiang met Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, in Beijing over the weekend.
“China’s efforts to promote the Olympic spirit will never cease, and [China is] ready to work with IOC to oppose the politicisation of sports, and make further contributions to the Olympic movement,” Li said.
It is rare for China to raise such concerns with the IOC in public, and it was the first time it had made such comments since the Winter Olympics in Beijing early last year.
The United States and several of its allies took part in a diplomatic boycott of the Games, citing alleged human rights abuse in China’s far west region of Xinjiang.
Beijing has repeatedly denied the accusation and said it opposes any attempts to politicise sporting events.
Tasmanian AFL team becomes reality
Tasmania will have a team in the AFL after all 18 current teams agreed to the motion
An exciting day for residents of the Australian state of Tasmania today.
Outgoing AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirming Tasmania has been granted the league’s 19th licence.
It follows the nation’s federal government confirming it will cover the $240 million shortfall to fund a new multi-purpose stadium at Macquarie Point.
This has long been viewed as Tasmania’s most significant hurdle for entry into the league.
All 18 clubs supported the state’s bid, before the AFL Commission agreed to a formal ratification.
McLachlan fronted a press conference at North Hobart Oval, alongside Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles and a whole host of players.
The CEO says the decision “will finally make [the] competitions truly national”. #trending #featured
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