Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homosexuals need not attend 2022 World Cup - Blatter

I don't know what else to say except, "wow."

After all how does one rationalize what FIFA President, Sepp Blatter said (even jokingly) at a Monday (13-DEC) press conference in South Africa, of prospective gay fans: "I would say they should refrain from any sexual activities."

This because homosexual acts are illegal in Qatar.

Maybe Sepp is just trying to be the emissary of the 2022 World Cup and let everyone know what to expect?

Maybe Sepp was just hosing down the pitch with testosterone to keep up with South African President Jacob Zuma, who has said at the same press conference that, "When I was growing up, a (insert "homosexual" slur here) would not have stood in front of me. I would have knocked him out."


The president of FIFA and the president of South Africa ... what a fitting couple.

As you can imagine there is a backlash to these comments from a variety of sources, and an interesting article is here from the WSJ about the whole situation.

This will however be an interesting mix in 2022 ... culture for cash. We will see just how far people in Qatar are willing to trade their way of life for sponsorship dollars ... at least for a month (in January??).


  1. I find myself in the awkward position of having to defend Blatter on this one. There is an oft repeated saying that goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Translated, that means it is not a good idea to go into someone else's house and try to change how they live.

    I believe Blatter was merely repeated that tenet, and not taking any stand on homosexuality. His comments are wrongly being used as political fodder by the Gay and Lesbian groups.

    This will become a little-remembered side issue when 2022 rolls around. I would not expect Qatar to trade any part of their life for sponsorship money. They are an oil-rich country and the World Cup is only a small blip on their economic bottom line.

  2. It is a rare day when JAFO defends Blatter ... so that itself gives me pause.

    I will agree that Blatter was joking and not taking a stand on homosexuality. I do not, nor really care what he thinks about it, but don't think he was taking a negative opinion of it.

    I do question his silence and the timing of his comments juxtaposed with the president of South Africa, whose comments were actually quite hateful it would appear on their face.

    I agree also that this will be little remembered until the start of 2022 where the first gay/lesbian act or public drinking incident that leads to an arrest may ignite the who story again.

    Blatter the other day followed up with comments of inclusion and tolerance ... things that Qatar does not have regarding segments of the visiting population for the World Cup.

    While I don't think the Qatar leopard will change its spots, I do think it will go into hiding for a month.

  3. What if he had said "Well, maybe black people should just stay out of certain parts of town" if held in time/place of deep racial segregation?

    Would criticism of that been seen as fodder? how about if he said it with a laugh and that grin of his? Or is the truth simply that there are those who don't care that much about the treatment of sexual identity? I'm not suggesting you should, but to say that criticism of this comment is just playing politics seems to further the idea that sexuality isn't something to be protected and Qatar should be free to imprison/whip if someone is gay.

    I don't believe Blatter to be taking a stand on sexuality either,nor should he be campaigning for homosexual rights in Qatar, however, his indifference speaks volumes.

    I will say, as a gay referee/player/spectator (and one who speaks Spanish) the homophobic comments (and outright slurs) can be difficult. I don't except FIFA to carry a gay pride flag, but, a little more sensitivity would certainly be helpful for the sport.

  4. Well spoken anon. I too expect more from those in leadership positions, regardless of where they are, or how they serve.