This is information that has made the rounds of the European media in recent hours. According to the English newspaper The Daily Star, sex outside marriage will be strictly prohibited during the World Cup in Qatar next November and December. The article thus indicates that sex will “really not be on the menu, unless you come as husband and wife”. Something to puzzle the many tourists, football fans, technical teams and other entourages of players who will come to stay for the occasion in the Muslim Emirate.
“There will definitely be no one-night stands at this tournament. Everyone needs to keep a cool head, unless they want to risk being stuck in jail. Fans must be prepared for this first World Cup without sex, ”a police source, presumably British, reportedly told the tabloid. Also according to the newspaper, public displays of affection, such as kissing or simply holding hands, are “frowned upon” and prohibited.
A few weeks ago, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, said: “I also want everyone to come, understand and appreciate different cultures equally. We all live on the same planet, but each of us has different cultures. We welcome everyone, but we also expect and want people to respect our culture. But what is it really? Are players and supporters at risk of ending up behind bars in the event of sex outside marriage?
A relaxation during the competition?
FIFA, some of whose officials told the Daily Star that there would be no “exceptions”, has so far not responded to our requests. “Sex outside marriage is officially prohibited and punishable by a prison sentence in Qatar (note: seven years in prison and a hundred lashes) but in fact, the law is a priori little applied”, explains however a diplomatic source, before adding: “Tolerance should be even greater during the World Cup, if we trust the Qatari declarations, even if no written assurance exists on the subject. »
For its part, the organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar stands behind its latest statements on the subject, namely that all football fans are welcome in Qatar, indicating that they are not concerned about the privacy of the fans who will be present in Qatar during the month of competition. At the same time, the Secretary General of the Organizing Committee, Hassan Al-Thawadi, indicated this Wednesday at the Qatar Economic Forum that nearly 1.2 million tickets had been sold after the second phase of sales, for nearly than 40 million requests.
More generally, since its attribution, the World Cup in Qatar has been debated while the laws of the host country are very strict and contrary to Western customs. Thus, sodomy or sexual relations between men are offenses punishable by penalties of up to seven years in prison. Last April, members of the LGBTQIA+ community were asked by a World Cup security official to be discreet during the competition. “If you want to express your views on the LGBT cause, do so in a society where it will be accepted. (…) So don’t come and insult an entire society,” he said.
In addition, the condition of women in Qatar raises questions, the latter having the obligation to “dress modestly”, with covered shoulders and knees, although not being forced to wear the veil. They must also consult their “guardian” for any important decision, such as studying abroad or getting married.
Finally, while a competition such as the FIFA World Cup is often synonymous with partying and drinking, drinking alcohol and being intoxicated on public roads is also an offence. punishable by six months in prison. However, the law should be relaxed during the World Cup, with fans being allowed to consume alcohol in fan zones or in some bars and restaurants.