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USA takes gay message to Qatar ahead of World Cup kickoff

By Winnie Mabel November 16th, 2022 2 min read

The United States of America has disregarded Qatar’s stance on banning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer plus (LGBTQ+) lifestyles in their country.

A strict Muslim country, homosexuality in Qatar is punishable by death. The country has been, for months, been warning visitors planning to attend the 2022 Fifa World Cup against homosexual behaviors on their land and even banned public displays of affection such as kissing. They, however, welcomed the queer community to attend the games.

On Wednesday, the USA national soccer team unveiled its team logo and it largely featured the colors of the rainbow. The logo was displayed in the team’s training facilities and media work room at the World Cup in Qatar.

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“It’s a sign of our values and what we represent as an international team in US soccer and we’re a group that believes in inclusivity and will continue to project that message going forward. We have chatted and continue to have discussions as we lead into the games. We have leaned on the message of ‘Be the Change’. That is something that we have been proud of and continue to work towards, be impactful with ourselves, our presence and our platform, and we will continue to be so here in Qatar,” said Sean Johnson, the USA team’s goalkeeper.

The rainbow flag is a symbol the LGBTQ+ community use as a symbol of their gay pride and diversity.

America has been criticizing Qatar for its stand against homosexuality, claiming that their ban was archaic and that the government mistreated people who identified with the LGBTQ+ community.

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The 2022 Fifa World Cup is set to kick off on Sunday, November 20,2022, with 32 teams from across the world in contention. Africa will be represented by Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia.

The opening match will be feature hosts Qatar vs Ecuador (at 7pm) at the Al Bayt Stadium. On Monday England  will be up against Iran (4pm at Khalifa International Stadium), Senegal will face the Netherlands (7pm at the Al Thumama Stadium) while USA and Wales (10pm) will face off at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

Brazil, France and Argentina have been tipped as the favorites to emerge victorious in the month-long tournament. The best talents to watch out for will be Neymar (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Sadio Mane (Senegal) and Harry Kane (England).

Also read: Makena Njeri reacts to government ban on LGBTQ content