Harry Kane, captain of the England national football team, said players will use the World Cup in Qatar to highlight “important issues”.
The decision of FIFA to hold the World Cup in Qatar sparked anger and concern among queer activists, players and fans since the first moment.
In Qatar, which will host the tournament in November and December this year, homosexuality is an imprisonable offence. Qatar also runs Sharia courts, where it is technically possible that queer Muslim men could be handed a death sentence.
Kane told reporters that he has discussed these matters with the England team. “There are some issues that you can’t hide away from. There are, of course, some conflicting emotions around it.”
Kane added: “As players, we didn’t choose where this World Cup was going to be. But what it has done is it has shone a light on important issues which might not have come to light if the World Cup wasn’t there.
“We have to try to help as much as possible to understand the issues and the situations. We’re no experts in that field at the moment in terms of what we know but as always we try to… use our platform to help in any way we can.”
Casey Stoney, the head of the England women's football team, affirmed they would boycott the upcoming Qatar World Cup because LGBT people are discriminated there. In the same way, F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton also did stand for LGBTQ rights in Qatar.
Surprisely, the "gay icon" David Beckham signed a deal worth £150 million to become the “face of Qatar” ahead of next year’s World Cup. This decision contrasts with the announcement made by Tom Daley, who decided to try and ensure that countries which criminalise homosexuality and the LGBT community can’t compete in and host big sporting events in the future.