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In a column printed in USA Today, MLS champion and Athlete Ally advisory board member Robbie Rogers criticizes FIFA’s decision to hold the next two World Cups in Qatar and Russia, and challenges the organization to do more to support and encourage gay players in soccer.
“FIFA is great at lofty rhetoric. They say their goal is improving the game of soccer ‘constantly and promot(ing) it globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values, particularly through youth and development programs.’
Those are wonderful ideals and its how I think of my sport and my place in it as a role model to young athletes. But FIFA doesn’t live those words, not when they decide to hold the next two World Cups, the most widely watched sporting events in the world, in Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, two countries that fall far short when it comes to humanitarian values, not to mention their seriously anti-LGBT values and crushing anti-gay laws.
If actions speak louder than words, then the message FIFA sends to gay athletes is painfully clear. Not only don’t they have our backs, our lives don’t matter.”
You can read the full article here.