LGBTQ and other rights issues at World Cup a 'huge blemish' on FIFA: Hall of Famer
Carrie Serwetnyk, the first woman inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and an advocate for equal rights in sports, is in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup and says the event is ``still trying to find its joy.''
The tournament kicked off Sunday amid a swirl of concerns about gay and other human rights issues.
Serwetnyk, who is a gay woman, says she feels very safe in Qatar during the World Cup, but acknowledges the concerns for locals.
Qatar has said all are welcome, including LGBTQ fans, but that visitors should respect the nation's culture, noting that public displays of affection by anyone are frowned upon..
Josie Nixon of the You Can Play Project, which advocates for LGBTQ people in sports in North America, says the criticism should be directed at FIFA for choosing Qatar as a host country.
Nixon says the organization is part of a coalition advocating for human rights, but there has been a ``lack of effort'' from FIFA to engage with the group.
Meanwhile, Soccer Canada announced that it is teaming up with the You Can Play Project ahead of the next World Cup, which will take place across North America in 2026.