Gay football fans will be warned against holding hands at the World Cup, which takes place in Russia in the summer of 2018. A group, Football Against Racism in Europe, will be producing a guide for fans highlighting possible dangers they could face.
Piara Powar, executive director of Fare, said:“The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT community. The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans – do go to the World Cup but be cautious. If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so – that depends on which city they are in and the time of day.
“The guide will also include some detailed explanations of, for example, the actual situation of the LGBT community in Russia. It is not a crime to be gay but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors. Issues relating to the LGBT community are not part of the public discourse. Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite hidden and underground.”
Fare has also written to Fifa on behalf of two fans’ groups from Britain and Germany to ask for permission to raise a rainbow flag inside stadiums during the World Cup, which begins in June next year. Although political displays are banned inside stadiums it is understood the governing body would not consider rainbow flags to fall into that bracket and fans would be welcome to wave them before and during games.
This week a gay couple from the U.S. found out the dangers of not observing local laws and culture when they were arrested for exposing their rear ends for an Instagram photo at a sacred temple in Thailand.