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Has FIFA failed its LGBTQ+ supporters?

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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?

William is an Executive News Producer at TICKER NEWS, responsible for the production and direction of news bulletins. William is also the presenter of the hourly Weather + Climate segment. With qualifications in Journalism and Law (LLB), William previously worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) before moving to TICKER NEWS. He was also an intern at the Seven Network's 'Sunrise'. A creative-minded individual, William has a passion for broadcast journalism and reporting on global politics and international affairs.

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Bombshell pro-Russian video emerges from Australian Open

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A bombshell video has emerged of the father of tennis star Novak Djokovic, amplifying the Russian controversy the Australian Open

 
Djokovic’s father was seen posing for pictures with a group of Putin supporters after his son won against Russia’s Andrey Rublev, to qualify for his 10th semi-final.

Russian flags have been banned from the Australian Open, but that didn’t stop one fan.

A man was seen holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it and wearing a t-shirt with the pro-war ‘Z’ symbol on it.

Four spectators were questioned by police and evicted from Melbourne Park.

After losing her semi-final, Belarusian Viktoria Azarenka hit back at media when pressed on tennis’ relationship with Russia’s war on Ukraine.

She told reporters incidents like Novak’s father posing with Russian fans have nothing to do with players.

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Sex noises interrupt BBC FA Cup coverage

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The BBC has been forced to apologise to viewers after its live coverage of the FA Cup was interrupted by sex noises.

The moaning you just heard was played as Gary Lineker presented the third-round replay between Wolves and Liverpool.

BBC is now investigating the incident which appears to be an act of sabotage.

Lineker says a mobile phone was found taped to the back of the set and was responsible for the sex noises.

After the incident, the broadcaster said the sound being made in the studio was so loud it was “quite difficult” to carry on.

But he still saw humour in the incident calling it a “good” prank and questioning why the BBC felt the need to apologise in the first place.

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Russian controversy at the Australian Open

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Russian

Russian flags have been banned from the Australian Open following match controversy

As the Australian Open heats up, organisers have been forced to ban Russian flags from the venue.

It follows the red, white and blue flag being spotted behind fans during a match between a Russian and a Ukrainian.

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia condemned the act and called on organisers to take action.

Tennis Australia has since made changes to its tournament regulations.

In a statement, the organisers say they will “continue to work with the players and fans to ensure the best possible environment to enjoy the tennis.”

The ban is effective immediately.

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