FIFA does not prohibit the entry of objects such as hats, jerseys, or flags with the colors of the rainbow, which represent the LGBTQ community, in the stadiums of the World Cup in Qatar. But because being gay in the country is illegal, and with sentences of up to three years in prison, many fans are being prevented from entering stadiums with objects that represent the community. Already on the field, any demonstration object was prohibited, such as the use of the captain’s armbands with the rainbow. world cup 2022 lgbtq
In Qatar, where punishments can include up to three years in prison for being LGBTQ, it has meant friction with the world over the country’s policies and attitudes toward queer people, and even those showing support for LGBTQ rights — as well as concern locally about what happens once the tournament is over and the world’s attention moves on.
Brazilian football magazine Corner decided to create an augmented reality tool for smartphones so that fans can express themselves and support the LGBTQ community. This is a filter for the Snapchat application, which basically transforms the image of any other flag that has been authorized to enter the stadium into the well-known rainbow “pride” symbol.
The tool is free and can be found in the Snapchat filter list by searching for “Pride Nation”. The application serves as a banner for a campaign to support the LGBTQ community that has been discriminated against during the world cup. At the end of the campaign video, you can also see a QR code for direct access to the filter.
In the words of Fernando Martinho, editor of Corner, the magazine believes that football is for everyone and that they are always on the side of human rights, which gave rise to this campaign. He also emphasized the importance of protest rights, without the risk of being punished by law. The augmented reality solution intends to support the protests, in a peaceful way, avoiding violence, he adds.
All sorts of protests have blanketed this year’s FIFA World Cup. Football players and fans alike have protested against host country Qatar, which has faced scrutiny for its history of human rights abuses, and FIFA itself, with the governing body of football being accused of repressing political and personal expression. world cup 2022 lgbtq
Qatar’s energy minister, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi told Germany’s Bild newspaper that though LGBTQ people were welcome to visit Qatar, western countries cannot “dictate” support for LGBTQ rights. Qatari law criminalizes sex outside marriage, including gay sex.
“If you want to change me so that I will say that I believe in LGBTQ, that my family should be LGBTQ, that I accept LGBTQ in my country, that I change my laws and the Islamic laws in order to satisfy the West — then this is not acceptable,” Al-Kaabi said.
Perhaps the most visible sign of the struggle emerged over FIFA’s decision to punish players wearing “OneLove” arm bands in support of LGBTQ rights. According to the New York Times, seven European teams (England, Wales, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark) alerted FIFA to their plans to have captains wear the armbands back in September. FIFA didn’t hand down its decision to give yellow cards to players wearing the armbands until just a few hours before England, one of the teams planning to protest, took the pitch