Dutch football assoc. condemns Qatar hotels for refusing gay couples

Amnesty International and the KNVB condemned the hotels in Qatar that refuse gay couples during the World Cup. The human rights organization and the Dutch football association responded to an investigation by Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish television showing that same-sex couples can’t find rooms in all hotels in the Doha area during the global finals.

“That’s what you get if you ban things, but allow them for a few weeks during the World Cup. It wears off,” said Ruud Bosgraaf of Amnesty International. “Such things can soon also happen with women’s rights or freedom of expression. So our call is: release everything in Qatar, not only during the World Cup.”

The KNVB also reacted incensed. “We want all supporters not only to be safe, as the organization has already guaranteed to us, but also to feel welcome,” said a spokesperson for the association. “We have already emphasized this to the local authorities and the organizing committee, and we will certainly do so again next month when we visit Qatar with the other European associations. We have not yet been able to view the full investigation, but it is clear that the hotel that the KNVB has in mind for the World Cup is not listed as a hotel that refuses gay couples.”

Homosexuality is prohibited in Qatar. However, the organization committee of the World Cup wants everyone, regardless of origin or orientation, to be able to attend the event safely. Three Scandanavian television stations approached 69 hotels in Qatar with the question of whether they could book a room as a same-sex couple during the World Cup. Three hotels refused them. Twenty hotels said only if they hid the fact that they like people of the same sex. 

The organizing committee of the World Cup said it is shocked by the outcome of the investigation. “We are a conservative country, but we are committed to a welcoming and safe World Cup that is accessible to everyone,” the committee told Reuters. “Hotels that receive guests for the World Cup also have to keep to the agreements. We check that and also evaluate if necessary. We would like to receive additional information so that we can approach hotels that do not meet the standards.”

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