To Gianni Infantino (FIFA President) and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (Chief of the Organizing Committee):
The World Cup is so often a symbol of pride, diversity, and respect. These are values that unite teams from around the world. However, the 2022 World Cup fails to embody those values.
Instead of celebrating the beauty of the all the citizens of Qatar, the Qatari LGBT+ community is being forced, along with LGBT+ football fans, to refrain from being their authentic selves. Meanwhile, the World Cup is reinforcing the fact that LGBT+ Qataris are forced to live in the shadows, hiding their true identities, and living in fear for their safety and freedom. This is not what the World Cup should be known for.
There is no shame in being human. Love is not a crime.
Consequently, we are demanding, as evidenced by the historic progress in Human Rights that the World Cup has addressed over time, that FIFA officials act today to pressure the Qatari government to meet two simple demands regarding the LGBT+ community:
1.) Ensure the safety and security of all LGBT+ people traveling to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup by decriminalizing homosexuality. No World Cup fan should have to travel in fear just to see the World Cup game.
2.) Permanently repeal Article 296 and other discriminatory legislation so that all LGBT+ Qataris have the chance to live openly, freely, and safely. Just as importantly for World Cup visitors, is the right of every LGBT+ Qataris to live with the freedom to be their authentic self.
FIFA and Qatar: the world is watching. Now is your chance to show that FIFA and Qatar embody the values of a modern world, where love is not a crime – not just this year, but always.