World Cup 2022: Lotte Wubben-Moy ‘won’t be watching’ tournament with Qatar hosting

World Cup 2022: Lotte Wubben-Moy ‘won’t be watching’ tournament with Qatar hosting

2 min

World Cup 2022: Lotte Wubben-Moy ‘won’t be watching’ tournament with Qatar hosting

Lotte Wubben-Moy
Wubben-Moy plays for England and Arsenal

England defender Lotte Wubben-Moy says she will not be watching the men’s 2022 World Cup because it is in Qatar.

Qatar has been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, human rights record and treatment of migrant workers.

“It’s tough. As an England team we all have strong values,” said 23-year-old Wubben-Moy, a member of the victorious England Women’s squad at Euro 2022 .

“A lot of those values aren’t reflected in the way that we see it in Qatar.”

The World Cup starts on 20 November and runs until 18 December.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar because it is considered immoral under Islamic Sharia law with punishments ranging from fines to the death sentence.

The host country’s World Cup organisers have stated “everyone is welcome” to visit the country to watch the football matches and claimed no one will be discriminated against.

However, Qatar 2022 chief executive, Nasser al Khater, has said the government would not change its laws on homosexuality, requesting visitors “respect our culture”.

England captain Harry Kane, along with the captains of nine other teams from Europe, will wear ‘One Love’ armbands to protest against Qatar’s anti-homosexuality laws.

“I think it’s a tough conversation to have and there’s a lot of dialogue around it,” added Wubben-Moy.

“I personally will be supporting the men’s team, but I won’t be watching. I think it’s hard to talk about. But at the end of the day, we’re one team here at England and we know that they have an opportunity to play at a World Cup.

“It’s hard to look beyond that really.”

Fifa recently wrote to competing nations asking them to “now focus on the football” instead of the competition’s controversial build-up.

The Fifa letter was criticised by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and LGBTQ+ campaigners in England and Wales, while 10 European football associations – including those of England and Wales – said “human rights are universal and apply everywhere”.

However, Conmebol, the South American football confederation, says it is “time to leave controversies behind”.

Wubben-Moy said: “Sport is a very strong vehicle for change.

“To underestimate that would be naive, I think. I’ve seen a lot of the players have strong viewpoints and I salute them and I wish them the best in looking to express that throughout this World Cup.

“It’s a World Cup and, for a lot of these players, they might not ever play in a World Cup again, so I can’t comment on them choosing to go because many people would take that same choice as well.

“But I think sport is very strong for change and in any way possible that they can use this opportunity to help bring about change, I think that’s important.”

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