Football fans planning to travel to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup should beware of having any extramarital sexual intercourse or risk 7- years of jail term.
According to Daily Star, Qatar World Cup officials have barred travelling football fans from having one-night stands from the day the World Cup kicks off in November.
Quoting a police source: “Sex is very much off the menu during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, unless you are coming as a husband and wife. There will be no one-night stands at this tournament.”
Post-game parties have been common in European football, especially in the United Kingdom. Be it parties or casual hook-ups, what’s probably the norm in some parts of the world, is frowned upon in Qatar. Those flying into Qatar to watch the World Cup matches would also need to adhere to the country’s rules during the period of their stay.
“There will be no partying at all. Everyone needs to keep their heads about them unless they want to risk -being stuck in prison.
“There is essentially a sex ban in place at this year’s World Cup for the first time. Fans need to be prepared,” the police source added.
It has to be noted that sex outside of marriage and homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. Even found guilty of not obeying the rules set by the country’s administration can be jailed for 7 years.
“The drink and party culture after games, which is the norm in most places, is strictly prohibited.
“With very strict and scary consequences if you are caught. There is a feeling this could be a very bad tournament ¬indeed for fans.”
This means that travelling football fans will need to learn and respect cultural differences as a World Cup is being held in the Middle East for the first time. And Qatar has strict Sharia law.
Travelling fans also need to be aware that being drunk in public is a crime and could face the death penalty if they are caught smuggling cocaine to Qatar. But it was earlier reported that Qatar would permit alcohol consumption during the event and fan zones would be established.
Qatar also criminalises same-sex relations. Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter once said; “I would say fans should refrain from any sexual activities”.
In December 2021, Nasser Al-Khater, Chairman of the Qatar World Cup local organising committee said that “homosexuality is not allowed” in the emirate. But he promised that LGTBIQ+ fans will be allowed to attend matches.
“Qatar and the region are a lot more conservative,” Nasser Al Khater, Qatar 2022 CEO, told CNN. “And this is what we ask fans to respect. And we’re sure that fans will respect that.”
“We respect different cultures and we expect other cultures to respect ours. Qatar is a tolerant country. It’s a welcoming country. It’s a hospitable country.”
But in April 2022, reports emerged that rainbow flags could be taken from fans at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to protect them from being attacked for promoting gay rights.
“Watch the game. That’s good. But don’t come in and insult the whole society because of this,” a senior leader overseeing security for the tournament reportedly said.
Qatar has also admitted that workers were exploited while contracted for the preparation tournaments, like the construction of stadiums.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup starts on November 21, and the final is scheduled for December 18.
This year’s edition will be the last World Cup to feature 32 teams. The expanded 2026 edition, to be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada, will have 48 teams.