“I think with a bit of flexibility and compromise on both ends, it will be a safe, secure and exciting World Cup,” he added.
Cleverley, a member of the centre-right Conservatives and a supporter of same-sex marriage rights, critics said was asking LGBT fans to hide their identity in a country where homosexuality is criminalised. While Qatari law prohibits consensual sex between men, it does not expressly prohibit sex between women, according to the US State Department. Sex between men is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Rights group says Qatar continues to mistreat LGBT people ahead of World Cup
Gary Lineker, a British former national football player. Tweeted: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything, gay. Is that the message?”
“Don’t be gay at the World Cup,” read Thursday cover up of Metro, a British tabloid.
Lucy Powell speaks on sport and culture for the opposition Labor Party. called Cleverley’s comments are “shockingly tone-deaf.” They urged the government to challenge FIFA on “how they put fans in this position” instead of “protecting discriminatory values”.
According to the Associated Press, Downing Street rebuked Cleverley’s comments, saying in a statement that people should not compromise “who they are.”
Amid criticism, Wise reiterated his stance, telling British broadcaster Sky News that “we have incredibly important partners in the Middle East” and “when you’re a visitor to a country, it’s important to respect your culture. The host country.”
Asked whether he plans to attend the World Cup, which runs from November 20 to December 18, he said other interlocutors will attend because “it is a major international event”. He should also be there to protect the British passengers, he said.
Arbitrary arrests and abuses of LGBT people continued in Qatar last month, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Monday.
The Gulf nation’s treatment of disadvantaged groups such as migrant workers has come under much scrutiny since winning the right to host the tournament. Qatari leaders have slammed some of the criticism leveled at their country, saying those behind the attack were those who could not accept the idea of an Arab Muslim country hosting a tournament like the World Cup.
Andrew Jeong contributed to this report.