The Dailystar, a British tabloid published the words of a Qatari policeman who assures that supporters who are caught having sex outside marriage during the World Cup would risk 7 years in prison.
These statements are refuted by the Qatar Embassy in Paris and by FIFA, which is cited in the article.
Qatar has been trying to show an image of tolerance to Westerners for months to reassure them about welcoming fans next December.
According to Qatar specialists, Qatari society is slowly but surely changing and many things that are forbidden are now tolerated in the country.
Moreover, Qatar could not monitor all the supporters and has no interest in creating an international scandal during this World Cup.
Rarely has a football World Cup been so talked about before the players have even set foot on a lawn.
Since its award to Qatar in December 2010, the controversies have been linked to this competition which will take place in the country of the Arabian Peninsula from November 21, 2022 to December 18, 2022.
Lack of "football culture", reorganization of the calendar because of the temperature, working conditions of the workers on the construction sites of the stadiums... The designation of Qatar has caused a lot of ink to flow.
Lately, the reception conditions of the supporters are talking again.
In question, an article from the English tabloid, the
, which argues that sexual relations with a person other than his husband or wife, which is prohibited in this Muslim country, such as homosexuality, will be punishable by imprisonment. seven years old.
Qatar has indicated that sex outside marriage and homosexuality will be prohibited and illegal during the World Cup.
A sentence of up to 7 years in prison may be applied.
FIFA has warned that there will be "NO EXCEPTIONS".
(Daily Star) pic.twitter.com/ByAc5z7rRZ
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As alcohol is banned in the country, “Boozy bunk-ups” will therefore be excluded from the program, according to the
The British site even mentions FIFA officials who have confirmed the information, adding that there "would be no exceptions".
The tabloid article appeared online on June 18.
It has since been picked up by many media as is.
There are, however, reasons to think that he is very (too?) alarmist.
First of all because the source mentioned by the
is an anonymous policeman whose whereabouts he is not known, nor what his attributions are.
, the Qatari embassy in Paris rejects these remarks and assures that no official in the country could make them.
For its part, FIFA denies being associated with these allegations and automatically repeats: "Representatives of FIFA and the host country have repeatedly expressed their commitment to providing security and a warm welcome to all those attending the FIFA World Cup.
Positive past experiences
If sex outside marriage is indeed prohibited in Qatar, it is difficult to imagine that couples, one day or always, who go to the country for the World Cup can be worried.
Nabil Ennasri, doctor of political science and specialist in the Gulf countries explains why: "Qatar has already hosted many major sporting events in the past (2006 Asian Games, 2015 Handball World Championship, 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championships) .
Never an unmarried foreign couple had problems on these events.
For the specialist, there is indeed a clash of cultures between Qataris, who live in a conservative society where signs of affection are not tolerated in public, even for married couples, and Westerners who come for tourism and sporting events: “But Qatar is opening up to the outside world, evolving and knowing how to adapt.
For example, alcohol is accepted in 5 star hotels.
Like bikinis, on the beaches of these hotels.
Tolerance slowly sets in
In the same way that alcohol will be tolerated in stadium boxes and in certain fan zones, the privacy of supporters will be respected in hotel rooms, assures Nabil Ennasri.
An analysis supported by Magali *, close to the organizing committee of the World Cup: “There will be no police escalation in hotels.
The line during the event will be: Come as you are but don't show off.
According to this Frenchwoman living in Qatar, it would not be possible for the authorities to "police" all the supporters, and above all, it would not be in their interest.
The World Cup is a showcase for Qatar, "no question of dirtying it".
She adds that a certain tolerance applies even to part of the Qatari population: “A lot of forbidden things are tolerated.
Some ambassadors are homosexual,
everyone knows it, but no one bothers them.
These remarks stick to the interventions of the various Qatari officials on the subject of tolerance during this World Cup: homosexuals will be tolerated on condition that they do not brandish the rainbow flag, unmarried couples, free to walk provided they do not smooch in public: “Qatar and the surrounding countries are much more modest and conservative.
This is what we ask fans to respect.
We are sure they will.
Just as we respect different cultures, we expect them to do the same with ours,” said Nasser Al-Khater.
Clearly, homosexuality is prohibited in Qatar, but we will close our eyes if you remain discreet.
If a survey published by three Scandinavian media shows that some hotels refuse reservations from declared homosexual couples, Nabil Ennasri sees it rather positive: “Of the 69 hotels planned for the World Cup questioned, only three refused reservations (33 the accepted without reservations and 20 accepted them by asking them to be discreet in their dress and behavior – Editor's note).
This is a huge improvement over a few decades ago.
Several senior Qatari officials have raised the subject of manners during the World Cup in recent months.
The country claimed, in 2020, to have drawn up a protocol intended to eliminate discrimination during the World Cup.
A protocol that contains a "Guide to knowing how to live", according to Magali.
A manual for visitors to explain how to behave.
So what would happen to offenders of morality?
Difficult to know, some imagine fines, expulsions, but seven years in prison, certainly not according to Nabil Ennasri: “It may still be present in the law, like many vestiges of Qatari criminal law.
But this evolves less quickly than society and this type of law and punishment are no longer applied.
*His first name has been changed at his request
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