Arsenal superstar Beth Mead hits out at Qatar’s views on gay rights

Qatar: “It wasn´t the best idea” says Arsenal & England Women’s Beth Mead  By Michelle

Arsenal and England forward Beth Mead has said it is “disappointing” the men’s World Cup is being held in Qatar.  Mead, who is openly gay, does not think the Gulf state is the “right place” for the tournament to be staged.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar with punishments including fines, prison sentences of up to seven years – and even death.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, 27-year-old Mead said that was “the complete opposite to what I believe and respect”.

Qatar follows strict Muslim laws, and has been criticised about its stance on same-sex relationships and human rights issues.  Peaceful protests have been planned by some players at the World Cup, which begins on 20th November. 10 captains of European teams will wear ‘One Love’ armbands, including England’s Harry Kane.

Qatar’s World Cup organisers state “everyone is welcome” to visit the country to watch the football, and that no-one will be discriminated against.  Chief executive Nasser al Khater said the government would not change its laws on homosexuality and asked visitors to “respect our culture”.

Listen to full BBC Woman’s Hour show including the full interview with Beth Mead here..

Mead, who won Player of the Tournament and the Golden Boot when England won the European Championship in the summer, said: Although I’m cheering for the boys who are going to play football there, from the minute it was announced I thought it wasn’t the best idea.

Mead is in a relationship with fellow Arsenal team-mate Vivianne Miedema. She said they had never felt it necessary to release a statement or even publicly come out because it is just normal life for them.

We’ve made it the norm from day one, she said. We haven’t felt the need to come out and give a statement of who we’re with and what we’re doing, we’ve just classed it as normal life.

If I want to put a picture of me and Viv on my Instagram, I do but I don’t caption it: ‘This is my girlfriend, this is what we’re doing.

In the men’s game they feel they have to make a statement of the situation. It’s been a culture, and that culture needs to shift.

We’re in the 21st century and you fall in love with who you fall in love with. It doesn’t matter who they are. That’s the perception we need to get across, Mead added.

Is it a generation thing? Is it a culture thing in the game? I would love to help try and bridge that gap to just try and make it the norm.

Arsenal are big supporters of LGBTQ+ inclusion, as are many football clubs.  They came together as a club on 31st October to mark Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, striving together to kick homophobia, biphobia and transphobia out of the game.

So what are your thoughts on Qatar and the World Cup being held there from 20th November?  There is certainly a lot of media attention focussed on the issue.

Are any of our gooners going to support England in the tournament?

Michelle Maxwell

Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Women’s Team!

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33 Comments

  1. Here we go again…..Qatar is an Islamic state and have time sovereign constitutions, what must be supported, their ban on gay folks doesn’t make them weirdos.

  2. I can’t support the Qatari point of view. Come and have a good time at the World Cup but once it’s over .. what next? I’m not getting the vibes that they will accept same sex relationships once the razzmatazz has died down

    I’ll be supporting England from my armchair and if Kane wears a one love armband he gets the thumbs up from me

    It’s ironic that for the likes of Sepp Blatter it was apparently all about inclusiveness and bringing in the small but incredibly wealthy Gulf nation as the first country of its type to host the World Cup but then happily then turn a blind eye to their appalling human rights records. How did that happen?🤔

    1. @SueP,were that outraged and boycotted the WC in Russia? I’m only asking because Russia even before annexing Crimea,had a very poor human rights record.they also have very repressive laws regarding homosexuality,from prison,beatings to killing in certain regions,hate crimes are a regular occurrence which go unpunished by police/government.

  3. The hypocrisy!! Western countries like to think themselves as being so far ahead of say countries in Africa or the middle- East but they forget that homosexuality was still illegal in their own country not so long ago.we are talking decades not centuries,so let other countries develope at their own space.

    1. Siamois, my life inexperienced friend. Hypocrisy is far preferable to deliberate and FIFA awarded cruelty and bigotry. We are all hypocrites in various ways but hardly any of us are cruel. Consider and then change your muddled mind!

  4. Lets tell the whole truth and not mince words! QATAR IS A ROGUE COUNTRY. IT IS EVIL, CRUEL, BIGOTED WITH MEDIAEVAL LIFE ATTITUDES.

    That FIFA CHOSE, ENTIRELY AND ONLY FOR MONEY, TO AWARD THEM THE WC is an evil act .

    It condones and asks us all to accept Qatars corruption.

    I will be entirely shunning this fake WC, just as I did with the previous one in evil Russia.

    Anyone else who has decency and a moral life view will do likewise. I urge all right minded fans to do so. PLEASE! FOR HUMANITY!

    1. Jon I never said that Qatar was a great country.i was just pointed out the inconsistency/hypocrisy (whatever you want to call it)in some people.they have a problem with this WC but didn’t with the one in Russia,at least you are consistent.as for the homosexuality laws,do I need to remind you that it only became legal in the UK in 1967,Australia decriminalised it in 1975 and only made it legal in 1994.i could list many other countries,so I don’t think Western countries are in a position to lecture Qatar or any other countries for that matter.as for migrants workers and poor human rights records,they were already present in Qatar before being awarded the WC but somehow it’s only now that people seem to care and being vocal about it.were it not for the WC ,it wouldn’t have come to the world’s attention.lastly, I’m pretty sure once the WC is over, people will go back not caring about what’s going in Qatar.

        1. That’s right “decriminalised”!! Check it if you want.
          Stoned and flogged?? prison and fines yes but not stoned and just in case you’re wondering,there hasn’t been any death penalties for homosexuality in Qatar.by the way,do you think that chemical castration is any better Pat?because that’s what the UK and other countries did to gay men.

          1. I understand your points of view Siamois but what you are accusing some – including the UK – of doing is now in the past. Call it a light bulb moment, but we mostly realise now is that we are human beings with a right to exist without fear, regardless of your sexuality, colour or creed. I live and was born in a far from perfect country but my gooo, I’m so glad that the Uk is progressive

            1. I agree SueP,it was in the past but recent past.compared to the British empire,UK,Europe..Qatar is a baby of a nation,give it time to grow,evolve.not so long ago,women over there weren’t allowed to
              drive,work…progress despite being slow is still progress. homosexuality in Western countries became legal say 50 years ago in countries centuries old. that’s why I say countries are in no position to lecture or even try to push their ideology on Qatar.let the country evolve at its own pace. they’ll be ready when they feel ready and not before.

      1. Siamois for some bizarre reason you seem to think that 45 years ago ie 1967, is recent.

        It is almost half a century ago and an amazing amount of social progess in so many matters has been made in all that time.

        You seem to believe that time has stood still! Why?

        1. Considering that England originated in the 10th century, I’m pretty sure that 50 years ago is very recent in its history. wouldn’t you agree?

    2. Jon,one more thing.i agree we are all hypocrite one way or the other. personally it’s not on purpose.

    3. This “western ways is the best” attitude is very annoying. Show respect for pples culture. The pple of Qatar dnt want gay, we should respect that nt force it on them.

  5. Not accepting gays are not the worst thing to do. Every country has their own cultures and traditions, it baffles me when you guys in Europe and the US think one country is “still living in the dark ages” because they banned gays.

      1. Yes……. Every country have different measures for punishment when crime is committed, just u hang a criminal or death through electronic chair

      2. What you’re saying is factually incorrect!in others Islamic states yes but not in Qatar.i am very disappointed Pat,spreading disinformation/clichés !!

  6. Sorry Jon I am gonna watch this WC, even if my country didn’t qualify. And ain’t nothing you gonna do about it.

  7. I may not agree with their country views, but we shouls respect their religion and their culture.

    I dont believe is Christ but when I visit someone of that belief and they say grace I bow my head and don’t condem them.

    1. Some of these anti-qatarians may be happily watching n supporting MC n Newcastle, Chelsea (when it was owned by some questionable cossacks). What’s the dif?

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