donald trump jr. lashed out at the United States on Thursday in defense of World Cup hosts Qatar, declaring that “the West has given up moral high ground”.
Qatar has been a controversial choice to host the World Cup as the country has been accused of several civil and human rights violations, including allegations of harassment of the LGBTQ community.
The Middle Eastern country has also imposed restrictions deemed “chilling” on media coverage, making it difficult to investigate the country’s treatment of women, LGBTQ citizens and migrant workers. The ban on alcohol in the stadiums has also led to complaints from many football fans.
On Thursday, Trump Jr. on Twitter that the US has no right to criticize such restrictions.
“After turning a blind eye to pedophilia and the sexualization of our children, as well as imposing vaccinations on people against their will and with dire consequences etc. World Cup,” Trump Jr. tweeted.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and can carry up to three years in prison. FIFA, football’s international governing body, and the government of Qatar have consistently argued that the anti-LGBTQ laws will not affect the inclusiveness of the World Cup.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has stressed on several occasions that the tournament will be a safe environment for everyone, stating in October: “Everyone is welcome to the tournament, regardless of origin, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.”
Liz Ward, program director for LGBTQ rights group Stonewall, shared News Week in a report for the tournament, “Unfortunately, this year’s tournament is not safe for everyone.”
This week, fans who wore LGBTQ-themed hats to support Wales in a cup match claimed they were approached by security and asked to remove them.
Qatar’s alcohol ban has been disputed, as beer is one of the main drinks typically served at a football match. The conservative Muslim nation restricted alcohol sales at games, complicating World Cup sponsorship with Budweiser.
There are reportedly fan zones selling alcohol elsewhere. That’s what a source told me last week News Week that “these fan zones will serve alcohol as well as hotels and bars/clubs within those hotels.
“You’re not allowed to drink alcohol on the street, as is the case in many (most) states in the US. What people should expect is that they can drink, if they want to, just not in the stadiums or with them nearby. I think that makes it a much more family-friendly event.”
News Week has contacted FIFA for comment.