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France Qatar 2022: Minister sends LGBTQ+ message with rainbow jumper

The minister, who watched France beat England 2-1 last night, wore a blue jumper with rainbow sleeves. It comes as France celebrates victory in Doha

A photo of a football next to two flags, one the England flag and one the French flag, on green football pitch grass

France beat England last night in Doha, amid the backdrop of controversy on LBGTQ+ and human rights Pic: Michelle Brun @BrunMichelle / Twitter / kovop58 / Shutterstock

The French sports minister has “passed on a certain number of messages” on sensitive subjects in Qatar, after watching France beat England in the World Cup yesterday (December 10). 

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra wore a blue shirt with rainbow sleeves at the match last night, in an apparent subtle nod to LGBTQ+ rights. The rainbow is widely seen as a symbol of LGBTQ+ pride.

The minister was present at the match yesterday, where the Bleus beat the Three Lions 2-1 in Doha. 

Homosexuality and sexual relations outside of marriage are illegal in Qatar, which has prompted criticism of organising body FIFA and the Qatari authorities. 

The minister’s office said that she had worn “the blue of the French team, the colours of the rainbow, with an insignia of friendship between France and Qatar”. 

In an interview with BFMTV, Ms Oudéa-Castéra said that she would “pass a certain number of messages” on sensitive subjects, including human rights, working conditions for foreign workers, and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.

She said: “I will meet with the representative of the International Labor Organization to discuss the situation of human rights and working conditions in Qatar, but also the progress made and the way forward, she had said. 

“Afterwards, I will have a meeting with the president of the LGBT supporters' club of the French team. It will be an opportunity to look back on how the LGBT supporters felt in this World Cup, and how they were respected.”

European ‘protests’

Eight teams from Western Europe had at one time been planning to have their captains wear a rainbow ‘One Love’ armband, but this was later changed after FIFA threatened to issue sanctions.

Several Western visitors, including the German and Danish representatives, have sent similar subtle messages.

Before their first match, the German team placed their hands over their mouths in their official photograph. This was a criticism of what they called the limit to their freedom of expression. The action was widely criticised in Qatar.

French celebrations

The French team celebrated their win at the semi-finals yesterday, and have a day off today before their next match against Morocco.

The team celebrated their victory with joy, and photos of the players in their dressing room show their energy. A huge speaker played celebration music and the team danced on tables.

A video also showed their happy return to their hotel complex, Al Messila, in Doha. Hotel employees welcomed the team back as they arrived.

The semi-final against Morocco is set for Wednesday, December 14 at 20:00.

British reaction

Of course, the reaction in the UK was not quite as jubilant. Newspapers on each side used the other’s language to express their feelings.

Le Parisien went with a simple “Yes!”, while The Daily Star chose a slightly less polite word for its reaction…

Related articles

Major cities in France refuse to screen or support Qatar World Cup
Qatar 2022: President Macron says ‘sport should not be politicised’ 
French football phrases you may hear in England-France World Cup game

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