osting the World Cup will not deliver significant change in Qatar, a senior MP has said, amid ongoing concerns over the Gulf state’s response to LGBTQ+ symbols.
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said “nothing about their behaviour has changed” for the reason that country was awarded the internet hosting rights in 2010.
Fans have reported having rainbow objects, together with T-shirts and Wales bucket hats, confiscated by officers in Qatar through the match.
Wales striker Kieffer Moore has said he’s conscious that Fifa and the Football Association of Wales (FAW) are nonetheless investigating the incidents, including: “Hopefully that doesn’t happen in the next game.”
The FAW – one in all seven national federations to abandon plans to put on the “One Love” armbands after they had been threatened with sporting sanctions – said they had been “extremely disappointed” by the reviews.
Rainbow-coloured corner flags emblazoned with the Welsh dragon appeared on the workforce’s coaching pitch in Al-Sadd, Doha, on Wednesday.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said Qatar has “taken real steps” to be certain that “gay football fans are safe and do feel secure”.
But a number of LGBT+ supporters have opted not to journey to the match in a country the place homosexuality remains to be unlawful.
Downing Street said it’s intently monitoring the treatment of UK fans at the World Cup.
Rutland and Melton MP Ms Kearns, when requested about her hopes for the match to deliver change in Qatar, told the PA news company: “Yes, we should always be hopeful, but I do not meaningfully believe that holding the World Cup in Qatar is going to change anything on the ground.
“Because if it was going to, we wouldn’t have seen human rights abuses taking place, there wouldn’t have been the loss of life that we’ve seen taking place.
“Qatar has shown since it received the nomination to hold (the World Cup) that nothing about their behaviour has changed domestically or even regards to workers.
“So I really don’t think, unfortunately – and I wish this was not the case – that we can have any hope that things will meaningfully change.”
Mr Cleverly said homosexual rights is a matter he has “brought up over a number of years” with Qatar.
He told the BBC: “I’ve made it clear that we feel very strongly about this issue and, actually, one of the advantages about having a strong relationship with other countries is you can have these difficult conversations.
“The Qataris know how seriously we take this issue and they have taken real steps to ensure that gay football fans are safe and do feel secure and can enjoy the football.”
Shadow international secretary David Lammy said of the reviews of fans having objects confiscated: “I was really shocked and saddened to see that happen.
“It doesn’t feel to me to be in the spirit of the World Cup, from the reports that I’ve read.”
“But I do also believe in the universal power of sport to bring people together,” he added.
“This is the first Muslim country to host the World Cup.
“People there are able to have those difficult conversations about human rights abuses, about the treatment of migrant workers, to campaign, to make their voices heard.
“I think that’s right, and the international community is raising its voice in relation to these issues.”
Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford attended his country’s opening game against the USA, though the Welsh delegation will boycott the Iran game before making an look for the ultimate Group B fixture with England.
On the pitch, England fans are sweating on the health of Harry Kane because the captain prepares to endure an ankle scan forward of the Three Lions’ second game with the USA on Friday.