Soccer-Watford cancel Qatar friendly after fans voice concerns over human rights


(Reuters) - Watford have cancelled a friendly match against the Qatar national team, the English club said on Monday after two supporters' groups voiced concerns about the country's human rights record.

The two groups -- Women of Watford (WOW) and Proud Hornets -- had urged the club to display its support for "all human rights, the LGBT+ community and women's rights" at the game but the fixture will no longer take place.

"The game was never finalised and it became abundantly clear this was a game not to play; as such, the schedule was revised," a club spokesperson said in a statement to British media.

Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state while Human Rights Watch says Qatari laws discriminate against women and LGBT individuals.

"WOW and Proud Hornets are delighted that Watford FC has listened to our concerns and cancelled the game with Qatar," the two groups said in a joint statement on Twitter https://twitter.com/ProudHornets/status/1541372949407666184.

"We look forward to continuing our discussions with the club on all equality, diversity and inclusion issues."

Watford were relegated from the top-flight Premier League last season after finishing 19th in the standings.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)

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