Reporters say they have contacted 69 hotels on the official list of FIFA’s proposed accommodation – pretending to be a newlywed gay couple – refusing to accept three reservations. Twenty more said they would give up their place until they openly showed it to be gay.
According to an investigation, some World Cup hotels in Qatar have refused to allow gay couples to stay, and others have asked customers to avoid showing affection in public.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar – but FIFA and Qatari authorities have previously stated that everyone is welcome in this year’s tournament.
However, Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish journalists said they had contacted 69 hotels on FIFA’s official list of proposed accommodation – posing as a newlywed gay couple – and refused to accept three reservations.
Twenty more hotels said they would arrange their stay until they publicly showed that they were gay.
According to reports from Norwegian broadcaster NRK, Sweden’s SVT, and Denmark’s DR, the 33 hotels had no problems and were happy to book rooms for gay couples.
“FIFA is confident that all necessary arrangements will be made for LGBT + supporters so that they, like everyone else, can feel welcome and safe during the championship,” the world governing body of football told reporters in response to their investigation.
It added that it had alerted Qatar’s highest committee for delivery and legacy (SC) results to the World Cup.
The committee described Qatar as a “conservative country” but “committed to providing an inclusive FIFA World Cup experience that is welcome, safe, and accessible to all.”
It added, however, that action would be taken against hotels that did not comply.
“Everyone is welcome in Qatar, regardless of their race, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality. All fans are welcome to book accommodation with the knowledge that the personal lives of people living or traveling in Qatar are respected,” it says.
A spokesman for the committee told Reuters news agency: “More than 100 hotels in Qatar accommodating football fans, players, officials, and other key stakeholders must adhere to the Sustainable Sourcing Code.”
“As a result, hotel operators who adhere to sustainable sourcing codes are subsequently monitored and evaluated.
“The SC considers an instance of violation or inequality of this Code very seriously.
“We welcome further information on these allegations to ensure that any partner associated with the FIFA World Cup does not fall short of the expected standards.”
England manager Gareth Southgate had earlier expressed his concerns, saying in March that he was unhappy that some fans would not feel safe traveling to the event because of human rights concerns in the country.
The same month, FIFA president Gianni Infantino told the Associated Press news agency: “Everyone will see that everyone here in Qatar is welcome, even if we talk about LGBTQ +.”
The World Cup will be held in Qatar from November 21st to December 16th.