FIFA President Sepp Blatter says homosexuals or lesbians attending the newly-awarded 2022 World Cup in Qatar should refrain from sexual activity.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (DECEMBER 13, 2010) REUTERS -FIFA President Sepp Blatter said on Monday (December 13) that if homosexuals or lesbians go to the newly-awarded 2022 World Cup in Qatar, they should refrain from sexual activity.
He was asked at a news conference in South Africa whether gays and lesbians should worry about attending the tournament because homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and sodomy between any sexes is believed to be punishable by up to five years in prison.
Blatter initially responded that everyone should be respectful of local traditions and values and as for homosexuals, in order to avoid conflict: "Then I would say then that they should refrain from any sexual activities," which prompted laughter from those present.
Blatter swiftly went on to say that FIFA never tolerates any form of discrimination -- "in football we have no boundaries" -- and he was sure that everyone would be able to attend and enjoy the World Cup in Qatar.
He was in South Africa to help launch a World Cup Legacy Trust and announce that FIFA is putting $80 million into it for the 2010 tournament hosts to spend on soccer development, education, health and humanitarian projects.
Another $20 million had been given to South Africa in the build-up to the June-July tournament, FIFA said in a statement.
Blatter said the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively was based on spreading the sport around the world and not on financial reasons.
The 2018 Cup in Russia will be the first staged in eastern Europe after 10 editions in the western half of the continent, while Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern or Arab country to host a World Cup and also the smallest nation.