Qatar says it won’t prosecute drunk football fans, LGBTI during World Cup: Report
Qatar won’t prosecute football fans for being drunk or people from the LGBTQIA+ community for showing affection in public during the FIFA World Cup, AD reports based on a document in its possession. It is a representation of agreements between the tournament organization and the police in Qatar. The KNVB and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs are aware of it, according to the newspaper.
The rules in the document are very flexible by Qatari standards, especially regarding the LGBTQIA+ community and women. People from the community who show affection in public will not be reprimanded, detained, or prosecuted. They may carry rainbow flags. Same-sex couples can share a hotel room.
Women who report sexual assault or rape don’t have to fear getting prosecuted for adultery or extramarital sex, the document states.
It promises a good time for football fans. The police will be “lenient to conduct that does not threaten physical integrity or property.” Drunk fans will, in principle, be allowed to enjoy themselves unhindered, except if they become violent or have “severe alcohol poisoning.” Then they’ll go to “sobering tents.”
Supporters can march, sing, and make music while in Qatar. They’re also allowed to stand on tables to sing if they want and wrap flags around statues. Fans can wear whatever they want as long as they respect “internationally accepted etiquette” near a mosque, among other places. However, people who take off their shirts can be asked to put them back on.
Journalists and activists will be allowed to say and write what they want, including about human rights, according to the document. No one will be denied entry to the country. Demonstrations will be allowed as long as they don’t become a “security issue.” And the police will allow banners as long as they are “respectful.”
According to AD, a foreign branch of the American security services (OSAC) distributed this document to expats in Qatar a few weeks ago. The Dutch football association KNVB told the newspaper that it had seen parts of the document during consultations with FIFA and the tournament organization. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it took note of the text.
However, the document's status and when it was drawn up are somewhat unclear. “Although the document has been viewed and shared by various authorities, Qatar and FIFA do not confirm that these are official guidelines,” the newspaper wrote.