The 2018 Football World Cup took place in Russia and attracted a global TV audience of some 3.1billion and whilst I recognise that many people will not be remotely interested in it, we should face the fact that many are! It is a global TV festival that lasts for a few weeks and has a significant media impact.
In 2010, the global governing body of football, FIFA, voted to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. Quite how this curious destination won the vote can only be speculated upon, but Qatar is a strictly Muslim country and is guided by Islam. The Qatari government does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil partnerships, nor does it allow people in Qatar to campaign for LGBT rights.
Now this should not really matter if this were just a football competition – but it’s not. The truth is that a vociferous pro-LGBTQ+ lobby sees this as a global headline grabbing opportunity and a clash was coming with the staunchly anti-LGBTQ+ Qatar authorities.
Many European FIFA Nations have adopted an aggressively PRO LGBTQ+ point of view and this is manifest on the pitch by players wearing the “One Love’ armband. This band contains the rainbow colours associated with the Gay Pride flag and had been set to be a strong statement in Qatar due to their stance on same-sex relationships.
However, the governing FIFA Body made it clear that any players who wear this armband would be in clear breach of World Cup regulations and FIFA’s general rules on team equipment at its games.
“For FIFA final competitions, the captain of each team must wear the captain’s armband provided by FIFA,” the soccer body’s equipment regulations state.
This whole armband dispute flared two months ago when 10 European teams said they had joined the longer-standing campaign in Dutch soccer, but it was still not resolved when the seven teams arrived in Qatar. FIFA offered its own compromise Monday by saying captains of all 32 teams “will have the opportunity” to wear an armband with the slogan “No Discrimination” in the group games.
That’s not good enough. European Nations such as Germany and England are strident off the pitch for the LGBTQ+ agenda and bitterly resent the fact that they cannot signal their virtue on the pitch. Why is this? Football should not concern itself with political agendas but it most assuredly does. In recent years, European teams have taken the knee in some vague support for BLM, so wearing a rainbow armband is not really a surprise. The fact is that the senior levels of organisations like FIFA have been infiltrated by Wokeism. And advancing agendas such as LGBTQ+ fits in very easily with them.
However, there was always going to be a clash with strictly Muslim countries such as Qatar and this has come to pass. I believe that trying to IMPOSE LGBTQ+ values on Qatar is wrong and shows a stunning lack of respect. A person’s sexual preferences should be a private matter and not a matter for overt public advocacy and that seems to be what the Qatari authorities can accept. But the West cannot. It has been so thoroughly consumed by LGBTQ+ advocacy that is insists on the right to publicly preen what it sees as virtue but which Muslim countries see as degeneracy. And so the “One Love” armbands are banned and rightly so.
Why don’t those European Nations so unhappy with the Qatari authorities view on LGBTQ+ rights just boycott the competition. No one is forcing them to go there! I’ll tell you why they go – MONEY! Their virtue signalling is only exceeded by their greed.
For clarity, I don’t believe anyone should suffer discrimination because of their sexual preferences. But Sporting events should stay well away from politics, and that includes LGBTQ+ politics. Give banal virtue signalling the Red Card!