It has been reported that several members of the Welsh football staff have kicked against the lack of gay rights in Qatar and have informed the football association of their decision to boycott the tournament. This is coming after a Welsh football chief executive Noel Mooney claimed that the team intends to use the tournament as an opportunity to discuss gay rights in the country.
Mooney also stated that football bodies should be more careful in selecting hosts for future tournaments. Citing the example of Qatar, Mooney stated that UEFA and FIFA should use their conscience in selecting hosts.
Though several football associations, concerned bodies and even athletes have criticized the choice of Qatar for this year’s world cup, the Qatari organizers have claimed that the tournament is open to everyone irrespective of religion, and sexual preferences.
However, Mooney has stated that it is the right of any of the Welsh team members to boycott this tournament because everyone wants to feel accepted in any place they find themselves.
“They’re not going to go to the tournament, which is absolutely their right to do so,” Mooney said in an interview with BBC Wales, referring to the unknown staff members.
“The vast, vast majority of people will go and also understand our position that it is a platform to try to improve life there and to have a good dialogue on issues like human rights… and migrant workers.
“So, we’re looking forward to playing a full part in that and getting clarity on any outstanding issues for travelling supporters.”
The Welsh dragons will be in their first world cup since 1958 after a 1-0 victory of Ukraine in the European playoff final thanks to an Andriy Yarmolenko own goal.
Mooney also has questioned the process of selecting hosts for the world cup. He cited the example of Russia and stated that the current invasion of Ukraine is evidence that Russia wasn’t fit to host the world cup in 2018. He also stated that only one member of the committee that voted both Russia and Qatar as hosts for the world cup are still in the committee with others plagued with charges of breach of ethics and fraud.
“We have had a World Cup in Russia in 2018 which was a massive PR success,” said Mooney in an interview with BBC Wales.
“I think anybody who left the World Cup would say it was a great success for Russia.
“We’ve seen what has happened since [with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine].