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    LGBTQ Community Interest in FIFA World Cup 2022

    Photos by Rink

    The 2022 FIFA World Cup, which began on November 20 and continues through December 18, has garnered both support for teams representing member nations and concern for host country Qatar’s policies and cultural mores adversely impacting LGBTQ individuals. The Qatari government, for example, does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil partnerships, nor does it allow people in Qatar to campaign for LGBT rights.

    A “OneLove” armband, which features the outline of a heart striped in different colors, was scheduled to have been worn by captains from England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and Wales at the World Cup with the goal of promoting inclusion and to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community. FIFA, however, established regulations holding that team captains must wear armbands provided by the governing body. While players have been refraining from wearing the “OneLove” armband as a result, officials from countries such as Germany and Belgium have been spotted wearing them.

    FIFA, founded in 1904, is the international governing body comprised of 211 national soccer (football) associations.

    Qatari Nasser Mohamed, M.D., now based in San Francisco, has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ rights and helped to establish The Proud Maroons (#ProudMaroons), a queer-supporting soccer group. Dr. Mohamed has emerged as a significant activist through appearances at live events and in media interviews both nationally and internationally. Here in San Francisco, Lookout owner Chris Hastings welcomed Dr. Mohamed and others on November 20 for a protest as well as a benefit for Alwan Foundation, a Quatari LGBT support organization.

    Dr. Mohamed also shared more about The Proud Maroons on Friday, November 25, at a World Cup live screening held at Union Square. Sponsored by Street Soccer U.S.A. and the SF Department of Parks and Recreation, the outdoor event was attended by a large audience of soccer enthusiasts who viewed an official competition between teams representing the U.S. and England. The SF Parks and Recreation’s Phil Ginsberg, Department Director, introduced Dr. Mohamed.

    Published on December 1, 2022