Really, the most interesting event for me today is the leaked news of evidence of life having evolving twice, independently, on Earth. I wasn’t aware that the World Cup bid results being announced today and it looked like it was going to pass as one of those events that I only noticed because of the brief spike in Internet traffic and the Twitter discussion.
But Qatar popped up as they’re apparently hosting the 2022 World Cup. Qatar are on my personal “do not travel, except with either diplomatic passport or as a uniformed member of the armed forces” list. Here’s some excellent travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Qatar, with the last few points in particular illustrating why:
There is an underlying threat from terrorism in Qatar. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
You should avoid large gatherings and demonstrations.
Although incidents are not common, female visitors should take care when travelling alone at night and should use one of the reputable limousine companies.
It is a punishable offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public. Offenders may incur a prison sentence or deportation.
Women should cover their shoulders and avoid wearing short skirts. You should behave courteously at all times. Any intimacy in public between men and women (including between teenagers) can lead to arrest.
Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Qatar.
The last point is the one that seals the deal – I have no idea what they’d make of a mostly-lesbian-post-transition transwoman such as myself, but I suspect it’s not worth finding out. The penalty is up to 5 years in jail and a fine, I’ve also seen it suggested that lashes may be involved.
Any gay footballers who might be thinking of coming out but who also want to play for England are now faced with a tough decision: Stay in the closet or risk your career.