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Qatar: 'We'll find creative solutions for gays at FIFA World Cup'

2014-11-14
qatarA Qatari official has said that the country will find "creative" ways to accommodate visiting gay fans when the country hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Homosexuality is currently illegal in Qatar, with those found guilty of engaging in same-sex sexual activity facing up to five years in prison. There have also been instances of the law being applied to visiting tourists, such as in 1995, when an American man was sentenced to six months in jail and 90 lashes after he was found guilty of engaging in homosexuality activity. When asked how Qatar is planning to accommodate LGBT football fans during the World Cup, the country's Sports Minister, Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, told AP that "it's exactly like the alcohol question." "[Qatar doesn't want to create] this impression, illusion that we don't care about our tradition and our ethical values," he explained. "We are studying all these issues. We can adapt, we can be creative to have people coming and enjoying the games without losing the essence of our culture and respecting the preference of the people coming here. I think there is a lot we can do." "As we bid for 2022, we will respect all the rules and regulations by FIFA. We can study this and minimize the impact on our people and tradition. I think we can be creative, finding solutions for all of this. But we respect all the rules and regulations," he added. FIFA President Sepp Blatter previously came under fire in 2010 after saying that LGBT fans "should refrain from any sexual activities" during the event. Meanwhile, cereal brand Kellogg's has been criticised for using its mascot, Tony the Tiger, in a pro-gay advertisement – find out more here. More stories: Bette Midler wants Disney to make ‘Hocus Pocus 2′ Watch Nick Jonas behind-the-scenes on his Attitude cover shoot