Adam Price MS says First Minister attending World Cup in Qatar would ‘Send the wrong message’

The Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, has called on the First Minister to reconsider his intention to attend the Men’s Football World Cup in Qatar.

The call came in Questions to the First Minister in the Senedd today (Tuesday 8 November) following a report this morning that the Qatar FIFA World Cup ambassador, Khalid Salman, described homosexuality as “damage in the mind”, which has been condemned by the Human Rights Watch as “unacceptable.”

In addition, the Football Association of Wales is reported to be in discussion with the Qatar Government about creating safe houses for LGBTQ+ people.

Speaking in a personal capacity, Mr Price has said it would “send the wrong message” for the head of the Welsh Government to attend in person, “especially given there can be no guarantee that LGBTQ+ people will not be subject to discrimination and even imprisonment.”

Adam Price MS went on to say,

“As a gay man, who could not travel safely to Qatar to support our team in the World Cup, I feel – as I’m sure many in the LGBTQ+ community do – that it sends the wrong message for the head of our National Government to attend in person.

“While I’m delighted that so many people will be able to support the great achievement of our national team – and I couldn’t be prouder of Cymru – this freedom is not available to everyone.

“The Qatari government have been unable to guarantee that LGBTQ+ people will not be subject to discrimination or imprisonment whilst in their country and the comments today by the Qatar FIFA World Cup ambassador are hateful and entirely unacceptable.

“Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government together are proudly committed to make Wales the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe. I implore the First Minister to honour that commitment and stand in global solidarity with LGBTQ+ people everywhere by reconsidering his decision to attend the World Cup in Qatar.”

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