A number of venues in Birmingham’s Gay Village are not planning to show any matches from the Qatar World Cup, in response to the criminalisation of LGBTQ+ relationships there.
Lawrence Barton, a businessman named yesterday as the Birmingham Night-time Economy Champion, runs multiple venues in the area.
He has stated that despite excellent turnout to his venues when screening prior World Cups, the country’s record of sustained discrimination against LGBTQ+ people means he does not want to support the tournament.
He told the BBC that “community matters more than making money”, and “there is no way I could ever consider profiting from knowing that that is the situation in Qatar with our community”.
This follows a Qatar World Cup ambassador last week referring to homosexuality as “damage in the mind”.
Despite this, FIFA has stated that competing countries should “focus on football” instead of “moral lessons” or political statements.
A fellow Brummie, pansexual comedian Joe Lycett, has also publicly called for David Beckham to end his deal with the Qatar World Cup by offering him an ultimatum.
Either he ends his contract with the tournament, or Lycett will livestream himself shredding £10,000 – a thousand pounds for each million pounds that Beckham reportedly received for the deal.
The Qatar World Cup takes place 20 November – 18 December.