Adelaide United left-back Josh Cavallo, who came out gay last month, has said he would be ‘scared’ to play in the World Cup in Qatar.
The 21-year-old became the only known top-tier male footballer in the world to come out as gay following his announcement.
The Australian received a wave of support from the football community after releasing an emotional and widely praised video, saying that he had stopped feeling embarrassed about his sexuality and the exhaustion of trying to live a ‘double life’.
Soccer administrators have launched high-profile public campaigns in recent years that span LGBT + fans and culture.
But critics have criticized FIFA’s decision to award the World Cup to countries like Russia, where homophobia has been called a “state-sponsored” project, and Qatar.
Adelaide United midfielder Josh Cavallo (pictured left in action during an A-Leage match against Perth Glory) became the only known high-level soccer player in the world to come out as gay in October. .
Cavallo has now revealed that he would fear for his safety if he participated in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
‘I read something like that [they] Giving the death penalty to homosexuals in Qatar, so it is something that I am very afraid of. [of] and I really wouldn’t want to go to Qatar for that, ” he told the Guardian’s Today in Focus Podcast.
And that saddens me. After all, the World Cup is in Qatar and one of the greatest achievements as a professional footballer is playing for your country, and knowing that this is a country that does not support homosexuals and puts us at risk. of our own life, that scares me and makes me re-evaluate: is my life more important than doing something really good in my career? ‘
The 21-year-old has admitted that he would fear for his life if he participated in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Homosexual acts are prohibited under Qatari law and punishments range from at least a year to a decade in prison, with a 2019 ‘danger index’ ranking Qatar as the second most dangerous place to visit for LGBT travelers. +.
Meanwhile, Muslims in the country may be subject to Sharia law that prohibits any sexual activity outside of marriage, including homosexuality, with punishments ranging up to the death penalty.
Therefore, homosexual people could be executed, but various human rights reports have said that there is no evidence to suggest that this has happened.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s new Saudi owners have been accused of attempting to “sportily launder” the country’s human rights record, while the club’s sponsors have been criticized for “turning a blind eye to homophobia” with his silence on the inauguration of the club.
Newcastle was sold to a consortium consisting of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media (pictured: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman)
The inauguration has been savage, with supporters of Crystal Palace protesting with a large banner.
Following Cavallo’s announcement, former England striker and BBC Match of the Day host Gary Lineker led a great deal of public support for the player, saying he hopes the player’s actions’ erase the fear others may have. ‘of declaring himself homosexual.
“It is absurd that coming out of the closet is something brave in football,” the former Tottenham and Barcelona star tweeted. Yet it is, and I’m full of admiration for Josh for going down a path that I hope many others will follow.
“I am sure that the vast majority of football lovers will support it and erase the fear that others may have.”
Barcelona and former Spanish central Piqué also praised Cavallo, thanking him personally for his candid video.
‘Hello @JoshuaCavallo, I do not have the pleasure of meeting you personally but I want to thank you for this step you take.
In a four-part Instagram statement (pictured above), Cavallo said: ‘I am proud to publicly announce that I am gay.’
“The world of football is far behind and you are helping us move forward.”
Meanwhile, Piqué’s former teammate at Barcelona, Antoine Griezmann, simply tweeted: ‘Proud of you @JoshuaCavallo’, followed by a fist and heart emoji.
Despite soccer’s immense popularity around the world, only a few footballers have come out as gay, especially after retiring to avoid the prospect of homophobic taunting from the stands.
The first professional gamer to come out while still playing was Britain’s Justin Fashanu in 1990, but he never found acceptance in the game and tragically took his own life in 1998.
A charity set up by Fashanu’s family last year published a letter from an anonymous gay English Premier League player highlighting how little soccer culture had changed.
Cavallo, who has also played for A-League Western United and Australia’s third division Melbourne City NPL, said in his video: ‘There is something personal that I need to share with everyone. I am a footballer and I am gay.
Growing up, I always felt the need to hide because I was ashamed, ashamed that I could never do what I love and be gay.
“Talking to my loved ones, my teammates, friends, teammates and coaches has been incredible. The support I have received has been immense.
The Australian released a long and emotional clip (left) on social media saying that he has been ‘hiding who he is’ and ‘living a double life’.
“I want to show people that it is okay to be yourself and play football. In any case, you will earn more respect from people. [by coming out].
The player called his situation ‘an absolute nightmare’, adding: ‘I feel trapped and my fear is that revealing the truth about who I am will only make things worse.’
David Beckham was recently criticized for reports that he signed a deal worth £ 150 million over 10 years to become the face of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and an ambassador for the emirate.
His association with a country that has been accused of human rights violations, particularly for its attitudes towards women and homosexuals, led to criticism.
The 46-year-old is said to have received guarantees that all fans will be treated well at the tournament before he agreed to the £ 15 million a year deal. However, the former England captain was still criticized for putting money ahead of his principles.
David Beckham is believed to have agreed to a £ 150 million deal to be Qatar’s ambassador.