Gary Lineker slams Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s message for LGBT football fans travelling to Qatar

The comments from Mr Cleverly were aimed at LGBT football fans making the trip to Qatar to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup

BBC presenter Gary Lineker has weighed in on comments made by Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, about LGBT football fans travelling to Qatar. Cleverly gave the comments following a meeting with the Qatari authorities to find out how international fans will be treated.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and there are also strict rules on public displays of affection. You must also ‘dress modestly’ when in the country. A statement on the UK Government website reads: “You should dress modestly when in public, including while driving. Women must cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts.

“Both men and women are advised not to wear shorts or sleeveless tops, when going to government buildings, health care facilities or malls. If you do not dress modestly, you may be asked to leave or be denied entry to these locations.”

Following his meeting, Mr Cleverly said: “I have spoken to the Qatari authorities in the past about gay football fans going to watch the World Cup and how they will treat our fans and international fans. They want to make sure that football fans are safe, secure and enjoy themselves. And they know that that means they are going to have to make some compromises in terms of what is an Islamic country with a very different set of cultural norms to our own.

“One of the things I would say for football fans is, you know, please do be respectful of the host nation. They are trying to ensure that people can be themselves and enjoy the football, and I think with a little bit of flex and compromise at both ends, it can be a safe, secure and exciting World Cup.”

Gary Lineker at the FA Cup semi-final in April 2022

The comments from the foreign secretary have attracted plenty of attention from around the world, including from ex footballer Lineker. He tweeted to say: “Whatever you do, don’t do anything Gay. Is that the message?” in response to the foreign secretary.