|The Three Lions Pride flag from England|
The English world cup team has been granted the rights to display it's pride flag within the Russian stadiums for the world cup, and it's doing so in it's June 8th vs Tunisian game. The pride flag of England's team has been designed for the world cup as part of showing LGBT inclusiveness in the sport. It will be waved by a Di Cunningham, who is organiser of the English LGBT group Three Lions Pride. An LGBT group of football fans. There will also be three other LGBT footy fans there also with flags to wave. They have the full support of the relevant authorities.
All well and good, but it doesn't take away from why the fuck did FIFA decide to have the world cup hosted by one of the most deeply homophobic countries on earth? I dunno if it's changed since Sochi, but back then over 80% of Russians thought gays were mentally ill and needing treatment.
From my understanding Russian law doesn't technically make same sex marriage illegal, but it is against the law to show any display of being gay in public, being the "propaganda" law; no kissing, no holding hands, I guess not wearing anything that looks like the rainbow flag, etc. Rainbow flags have only been allowed in the confines of world cup stadiums. Which I suppose the waving of won't be broadcast on Russian TV so as not to break the gay "propaganda" law.
Guess where the next world cup will be held? Qatar FFS, where being gay is illegal :s
But an FA spokesperson made it clear that the organisation was in support of LGBT visibility from England fans in the Russian stands.
“We have been building links with LGBT+ fan groups by using England home games as a focal point,” they said. “We continue to support their good work, and back their use of a Three Lions rainbow crest at the England games at the FIFA 2018 World Cup.”
Cunningham said that the flags would also make it clear how they felt about FIFA’s decision to hold the most important tournament in world football in a country which has seen anti-LGBT hate crimes double since the introduction of a law banning gay “propaganda”.
The 2013 legislation, which prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” towards minors, has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights.
“How can you disenfranchise this set of supporters by siting this prestigious tournament in a country that is hostile to the LGBT community?” she asked.
The next 2022 World Cup is set to be held in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
LGBT activist group Pride in Football revealed before the competition that it had been sent death threats saying that any gay fans going to the World Cup would be hunted down and stabbed.
And a gay France fan was hospitalised before the tournament kicked off, with the victim, named as O. Davrius, suffering a brain contusion and open craniocerebral injury, as well as an upper jaw fracture, after a brutal beating in St Petersburg.
Despite the dangers, however, she praised Agapov for waving a rainbow flag during Russia v Saudi Arabia.
“It’s an amazing image,” said Cunningham. “Here is a Russian man holding a rainbow flag and not being penalised, among other Russian fans and stewards. Agapov really tested the RFU.
“So, it seems to be the case that it’s safe in stadiums, but LGBT fans don’t live in stadiums. They have to get to and from stadiums. They have to eat, take public transport, and travel in cabs like the French guy who was attacked.”
Cunningham said that her plan to take a brave stand for LGBT rights aside, “tiny numbers” of LGBT England fans had felt safe enough to travel to Russia.
“I could find you hundreds of supporters who said they didn’t want to go,” she added.
“They were really nervous, massively so. That’s been terribly vindicated by the attack on that French guy.” Pink News