Thirty or so months seems like a long time when you consider the progress that’s been made with gay rights, so watching how FIFA handles the fallout from their 2010 decision will be interesting:
Russia was awarded World Cup hosting rights in December 2010, when FIFA’s board chose it ahead of England and joint bids from Spain-Portugal and the Netherlands-Belgium. That same day in Zurich, FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, where homosexual acts are illegal.[FIFA President] Blatter drew criticism soon after the World Cup votes when he suggested that gay soccer fans could “refrain from any sexual activities” while attending the World Cup in the Gulf nation.
In May, after FIFA member countries approved tougher sanctions for discrimination, Blatter was asked what gay fans and players could expect in Qatar, and said that he could not offer “a definite answer” at this stage.
I have a feeling that “don’t fuck and you’ll be fine” isn’t going to cut it, especially since FIFA enacted a new anti-discrimination rule in May. Maybe some of you who follow soccer know more about this.