Oct 13 (Reuters) – Josh Cavallo, Australia’s first active male professional footballer to come out as gay, said a country’s stance on LGBT rights should be considered before awarding hosting rights for a major sporting event.
Cavallo has yet to receive a call-up to Australia’s senior squad but has previously said he would be “scared” to play at the World Cup in Qatar, where gay sex is a criminal offence.
The 2018 edition of soccer’s showpiece event was held in Russia, where a “gay propaganda” law, passed in 2013, has been used to stop gay pride marches and detain gay rights activists.
“I vow to stand up for the LGBTQ athletes and the fans at the World Cup in Qatar, who can’t live openly, authentically. Qatar, FIFA, the world is watching,” Cavallo said on Wednesday. “Do you see us?
“I urge sport leaders to consider our rights, our safety while choosing host countries for World Cups and other competitions. We must do better.”
Nasser Al Khater, the chief executive of the 2022 World Cup, has said LGBTQ+ fans coming into the country would not have to worry about “persecution of any sort”, and described Qatar as a “tolerant country”.
The World Cup begins on Nov. 20 and runs through to Dec. 18.