LGTBI, alcohol and hijab: what is allowed in Qatar 2022

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EFE verifies |

Qatar’s restrictive laws and rejection of its choice as the venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup have generated Doubts and misinformation about what will be allowed and what will remain prohibited during the tournament, during which time visitors to the emirate will benefit from exceptions to national legislation regarding the alcohol consumption, clothing or consideration of LGTBI people.

Sign of the Qatar 2022 World Cup in Doha. EFE/EPA/Martin Divisek

Among these prerogatives, the host of the FIFA tournament has activated special points for the sale of alcohol and spaces for recovering from drunkenness available to fans, as well as allowing the display of rainbow flags, despite the fact that homosexuality is punishable under Qatari law.

Among the false messages circulating in the months leading up to the championship were statements about jail time for displaying the rainbow banner during the World Cup or a sign with misleading restrictions.

Can you drink alcohol?

Qatar allows the sale and consumption of these drinks to people over 21 in approved hotels, restaurants and bars, but never on the street or in other public places.

During the celebration of the World Cup, will allow “additional areas” where “alcoholic drinks will be available”explain to EFE verifies Sources from the Qatar Embassy in Spain.

Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar. EFE/EPA/Noushad Thekkayil

These points will be placed around the stadiums, where alcohol will only be sold during the three hours preceding the start of the matches and the hour following the end of the matches.

In addition, a special feature of this World Cup is that the Qatari authorities will establish recovery areas for inebriated fans, as explained in an interview on Sky News. Nasser Al KhaterCEO of Qatar 2022.

In any event, apart from these exemptions, Qatari law establishes that “It is a crime to drink alcohol or be drunk in public”.

Indeed, drinking in a place not authorized for this purpose can result in a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine of up to 3,000 Qatari riyals, or around 800 euros, according to the British Foreign Office. on its website.

Additionally, smoking is prohibited in all public spaces, including museums, sports clubs, shopping malls and restaurants.

What happens to the couples of the LGTBI collective?

Qatar’s policy against the rights of LGTBI people has been one of the issues that has drawn the most criticism since its election to host the World Cup was announced.

Qatar punishes sexual relations between men with sentences ranging from one to three years in prison.

However, and although no regulation or text has been promulgated that includes it, the Qatari authorities have assured that LGTBI people who travel to Qatar during the World Cup will not face legal consequences.

World Cup Spokesperson Nasser Al-Jaterassured in an interview with CNN that a homosexual couple can attend the World Cup “like the fans of a football tournament” and “they can do what any other human being would do”.

Also, displaying the rainbow flag will be allowed in the stadiums where the matches are played, as confirmed by both FIFA and the Qatari World Cup organization.

However, in another interview with German public television ZDF, Qatar’s World Cup ambassador and former international footballer from that country Khalid Salman called homosexuality “mental damage”.

Indeed, an October report by the organization Human Rights Watch denounces that Qatar arbitrarily arrested lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in September and subjected them to ill-treatment while in detention.

Qatar asks to respect its values ​​and traditions

Recently, there have been numerous posts on social media warning that Qatar will ban extramarital affairs during the celebration of the World Cup with penalties of up to seven years in prison.

The truth is that the Qatar’s penal code criminalizes extramarital affairs, although the rule predates the World Cup.

In this regard, sources from the Qatari embassy point out EFE verifies that the country asks visitors to respect “its values ​​and traditions”, how would they “in other parts of the world”.

The same sources add: “Qatar is a relatively conservative society, public displays of affection are not part of our culture”.

Should women wear the hijab?

FIFA recalls in its guide to the World Cup that tourists “you can usually wear whatever clothes you want”For what non-Qatari women are not required to wear the hijab, a traditional veil to cover the head.

Likewise, swimsuits are allowed on the private beaches of hotels and swimming pools.

On the other hand, the organization specifies that visitors, women and men, must cover their shoulders and knees when they go to public places like museums and other government buildings.

Furthermore, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that its citizens “avoid short and low-cut clothes, both for women and for men”.

Finally, the law prohibits anyone who takes a photograph of a person from publishing, displaying, or distributing the original image or any copy thereof without the permission of the subject of said image.

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