Soccer-Some Qatar hotels won't accept same-sex couples despite FIFA promises-report


FILE PHOTO: A band performs on stage during an event marking "200 Days To Go" ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in Doha, Qatar May 6, 2022. REUTERS/Imad Creidi

(Reuters) - Three hotels in Qatar will refuse to accommodate same-sex couples when people travel to the Gulf country for the World Cup this year despite FIFA's assurances they will be allowed to book rooms, a Scandinavian media survey has discovered.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and a report by Norwegian Broadcaster NRK, Sweden's SVT and Denmark's DR showed three of the 69 hotels on FIFA's official list of recommended accommodations will deny entry to same-sex couples.

The three hotels did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Twenty other hotels said they would accommodate them as long as they did not publicly show that they were gay. Thirty-three hotels had no issues on booking same-sex couples.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) at the World Cup said Qatar is a "conservative country" but was "committed to delivering an inclusive FIFA World Cup experience that is welcoming, safe and accessible to all".

They added, however, that they would take action against hotels that do not comply.

"More than 100 hotels in Qatar that will accommodate visiting football fans, players, officials and other core stakeholders, will be required to comply with the Sustainable Sourcing Code," a spokesperson for the SC told Reuters.

"As a result, hotel operators complying with the Sustainable Sourcing Code are subsequently monitored and evaluated. The SC treats any violation of this code or instance of discrimination with the utmost seriousness.

"We would welcome further information on these allegations to ensure any partner associated with the FIFA World Cup does not fall short of the standards expected."

England manager Gareth Southgate had previously voiced his concerns, stating in March that he was unhappy some fans will not feel safe travelling to the event due to concerns over human rights issues in the country.

The World Cup in Qatar will take place from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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