The GFSN is concerned to hear that the Russian courts passed a bill this week that criminalises anyone spreading “homosexual propaganda.” This means that LGB&T football fans at the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup could be persecuted and arrested simply for carrying a rainbow flag.
On a bigger scale, it seems that the new law means that there could be no repetition of events such as “Pride House” which was run so successfully during the London Olympics.
This is the latest in a line of anti-gay events in Russia from people losing their jobs over their sexuality, to discriminatory government legislation, and LGB&T people being beaten to death.
Our members are increasingly worried that they are unwelcome in Russia and fear for their personal safety if they were to attend to support their teams and many are considering cancelling plans to visit the 2018 World Cup.
Says Ed Connell, GFSN Campaigns Officer:
“The GFSN is very concerned that the footballing authorities see fit to award the prestigious World Cup to countries such as Russia which discriminate against the LGB&T community. We would urge UEFA and FIFA to demonstrate their resolve to tackle discrimination by seeking assurances that LGB&T supporters will be able to attend these events without the risk of intimidation or arrest merely because of their sexuality. We would also hope that future host applications will be scrutinized more closely so as to ensure that competitions are not awarded to countries with poor human rights records or without assurances from those countries that all members of the footballing family will be both safe and welcome ”