In a speech made in the House of Commons, Labour MP Luke Pollard said: “As an LGBTQ+ England fan it is not safe for someone like me to watch their team at the World Cup in Qatar.”
Speaking in the Commons, Foreign Office minister David Rutley said: “Ministers and senior officials have raised the concerns of LGBT+ visitors with Qatari authorities at all levels and will continue to engage on this issue ahead of and during the World Cup. Qatar has repeatedly committed that everybody is welcome to the tournament and we will continue to encourage equal treatment and the respect of individual rights, and identify what action the Qatari authorities are taking to match their commitment.”
Mr Pollard, the MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said: “I declare an interest as a massive gay, but as an England-supporting homosexual it is not safe for someone like me to watch the World Cup in Qatar.
“Because of the human rights abuses of migrant workers and Qatar’s LGBT population I personally don’t think Qatar should ever have been awarded a major sporting competition.
“Will the minister back the home nations’ captains in wearing a rainbow armband when they play at the World Cup?”
The MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport also urged Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to apologise for comments which “force LGBT people back into the closet”.
Mr Cleverly previously advised LGBT+ football fans heading to the football tournament to show “a little bit of flex and compromise” and to “respect the culture of your host nation”.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished by up to seven years in prison.
Foreign Office advice notes “any intimacy between persons in public can be considered offensive, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or intent”.