11:35 | 19th February 2019

Top Feature: Darren Waite

Amaechi official complaint to FIFA

  • Send your Comments

Former basketball star and gay rights campaigner John Amaechi has complained to FIFA about president Sepp Blatter's comments regarding the World Cup in Qatar.

Homosexuality is illegal in the country that will host the 2022 tournament, prompting concern over the potential treatment of gay fans. Asked about the issue at the launch of a post-2010 World Cup legacy project in South Africa, Blatter appeared to laugh it off, saying: "I would say they should refrain from any sexual activities."

Amaechi, who came out in 2007 four years after retiring from the NBA, wrote on his blog: "The statements and the position adopted by Sepp Blatter and FIFA regarding LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) fans who would pay the enormous ticket and travel prices to attend the World Cup in 2022 should have been wholly unacceptable a decade ago, instead, with little more than an afterthought, FIFA has endorsed the marginalisation of LGBT people around the world."

He added: "Anything less than a full reversal of his position is unacceptable and, if the FA (Football Association) and football and sporting associations around the world fail to acknowledge this insult, they too will be complicit.

"If sport cannot serve to change society, even temporarily during the duration of an event like the World Cup that invites the world to participate, then it is little more than grown men chasing a ball, and we should treat it as such."

Source : Press Association

Back to previous page