A SCHOOLGIRL is calling on the BBC, ITV and FA to highlight Qatar’s death penalty for LGBTQ+ people during their coverage of the 2022 World Cup.

Chloe, a 15-year-old from Thirsk, believes that the BBC and ITV should use their platform and their coverage of the tournament to “regularly” highlight the dangers LGBTQ+ people face in the country.

A petition has been launched by Chloe encouraging the broadcasters to act after she said she was “appalled” after hearing the 2022 World Cup would be held in Qatar.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, with a punishment of up to three years in prison and a fine and even the possibility of death penalty for gay Muslims under Sharia Law.

Chloe feels the broadcasters have a duty to stand by their policies of promoting equality.

She said: “The BBC and ITV, which are planning on televising the Qatar World Cup, and the FA, which is sending a team to the tournament, all have stated promoting equality is at the heart of their core policies.

“As responsible public service broadcasters, the BBC and ITV have a duty to regularly highlight these issues during the many hours of coverage they are planning.

“We want the TV coverage to be balanced and use the apparent conflict with their policies to highlight the important equality issues before matches.

“We would also like to see some LGBTQ+ pundits.

“We want the FA to follow its policies, such as the Respect and poppy campaigns, and the example of the Danish national team in showing their solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community by having a clear message on their shirts.”

Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community herself, Chloe said she feels “disheartened” that people in Qatar face harsh punishment for expressing their sexuality.

She added: “It’s disheartening to know that Qatar do have the laws that they have, I’m very lucky to have been born, purely by chance, into a country where I’m not going to get sentenced to jail and it’s not illegal to be who I am.

“We have still got problems where you still can face everyday homophobia, and technically that is illegal, but it’s just to think, if I’d been born in a different country, my fate could have been completely different.

“I would have had to hide who I am or I would have been in serious danger, so it’s just frustrating and disheartening and it seems very unfair."

Chloe also feels that as a progressive country, the UK has a responsibility to look out for marginalised people internationally.

She said: “I think, as a more progressed country, with the resources and the understanding that the laws that are in place in Qatar are wrong, and unfair, we have a responsibility as fellow human beings to look out for people around the globe.

“I really don’t believe that your fate and how you live life should be determined on where you are born.

“We should be doing our best, whether it’s the government, individual charities or whatever it is, we should be doing our best as fellow human beings to make it safe for everyone wherever they live.

“I think as football has such a big audience and a lot of power to change things, but unfortunately, in this country definitely, it's not doing enough."

Chloe praised the current England national team for embracing campaigns such as taking the knee against racism and said that 'small things can make a huge difference' in taking a stand against prejudice.

She said: "All it would take is Boris Jonson coming out and saying that he disagrees with Qatar’s policies, because that would show he is an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

“It could also bring attention to it as well, and be a big statement, because when you’re silent against an issue you’re choosing a side because you’re just sitting back and letting them do it.”


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