FIFA World Cup 2022: The story behind the OneLove armband, and Qatar’s laws against homosexuality

The tale thus far: FIFA on Tuesday disallowed avid gamers on the FIFA World Cup 2022 underway in Qatar from dressed in OneLove armbands all through suits. The captains of ten European soccer groups, together with Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Wales, Sweden, and Switzerland, had deliberate to put on the armbands, which protest more than a few varieties of discrimination, all through the event.

In a joint observation, the captains of England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark mentioned they’ll no longer put on OneLove armbands after FIFA made it transparent they’d be booked for doing so. “You don’t want the captain to start the match with a yellow card. That is why it is with a heavy heart that we as a UEFA working group and as a team had to decide to abandon our plan,” the Dutch soccer affiliation KNVB mentioned in a observation.

According to the principles, group apparatus will have to no longer have any political, non secular, or non-public slogans, statements, or pictures, and all through FIFA Final Competitions, the captain of each and every group “must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA”.

Wales mentioned the nations concerned were ready to pay the fines that might in most cases follow to breaches of equipment laws, however FIFA’s wearing sanctions danger took issues too a ways.

The foundation of OneLove

On November 17, 2019, SBV Excelsior footballer Ahmad Mendes Moreira, who hails from Guinea, was once subjected to racial slurs all through a fit with FC Den Bosch at De Vliert stadium in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. The incident shook the football fraternity and raised questions about the 2020 Euro Cup as well (the Cup was later postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic).

The OneLove campaign was launched in the Netherlands on September 26, 2020 as a direct response to the racist attack on Moreira. The campaign stood against all forms of discrimination,while focusing on the power of the sport to bring people together, in spite of all their differences.

OneLove is part of Ons Voetbal is van iedereen, which translates to “Our Football Belongs to Everyone”— an initiative launched in February 2020 to counter racism and discrimination in the sport. The idea that “football has the power to unite people” was inspired by a quote from Nelson Mandela, not only one of the greatest voices for equality in history but also an ardent football fan.

Launched by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), Eredivisie football league, and Kitchen Champion Division along with the Dutch national government, the project aims to eliminate racism and discrimination from football by focusing on three main pillars: prevention, identification, and sanctioning.

OneLove is one of 20 components of the “Our Football Belongs to Everyone” initiative. The red, black, and green colours on the OneLove logo symbolise race and origin, and the pink, yellow, and blue colours symbolise all gender identities and sexual orientations.

More than 60 football clubs and parties signed an open letter published at the launch of the OneLove campaign in 2020. It has since been embraced by the Dutch national men’s and girls’s soccer groups. Captains at more than a few ranges of soccer, from skilled to amateurs, had been noticed taking part in with the OneLove armband. In the 2021–22 KNVB Cup ultimate, Ajax and PSV avid gamers additionally sported the OneLove brand.

Homosexuality in Qatar

Although the time period homosexuality does no longer to find specific point out in Qatar’s 2004 penal code, sodomy specifically is punishable via regulation with imprisonment for a time period of 1 to 3 years beneath Article 296. Same-sex relationships also are believed to be banned within the nation beneath articles with regards to adultery and crimes of honour. Articles 281 and 285 of the 2004 Qatar Penal Code penalise “copulation…without compulsion, duress or ruse” with a feminine or a male over 16 respectively with imprisonment for a time period as much as seven years. Since the time period “offender” is gender-neutral, the provisions duvet same-sex relationships too. In sure circumstances, the penalty can also be higher to lifestyles imprisonment or a jail time period no longer exceeding fifteen years.

The Qatar Penal Code additionally punishes “inducing or seducing a male or a female in any way to commit illegal or immoral actions” with imprisonment starting from one to 3 years, even supposing what constitutes “illegal or immoral actions” is undefined, and therefore subjective.

According to the Qatari Constitution, Islamic regulation is the primary supply of regulation, and the rustic additionally runs Sharia courts.

Ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, in October 2022, Human Rights Watch reported that Qatar’s Preventive Security Department Forces arrested a couple of participants of the LGBTQ+ group and subjected them to “ill-treatment in detention”.

The 2019 record on State Sponsored Homophobia via ILGA World – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association – mentions that dying penalty is a imaginable punishment for homosexuality in Qatar, in addition to in Mauritania, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

In 2016, Doha News printed a piece of writing titled What it’s love to be homosexual and Qatari following the mass capturing at a homosexual nightclub within the U.S. previous that yr. The piece sparked an intense debate, and in a reaction piece, a Qatari netizen expressed that “homosexuality is not tolerated” in Qatar.

In July 2018, ABC News reported that Qatar was once censoring protection of LGBTQ+ rights from the Doha version of the New York Times International Edition. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an American citizen in Qatar was once sentenced to 6 months in jail and 90 lashes for “homosexual activity” in 1995. The sentence was once performed on June 6, 1995, and he was once launched from jail on July 22, 1995. He departed Qatar in March 1996. The USCIS additionally added that during 1998, Qatar deported greater than 20 Filipino staff suspected of being homosexual.

In the United Nations, Qatar has voted towards resolutions calling for cover towards violence and discrimination in response to sexual orientation and gender id.


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