England Women’s Captain Comes Out, Won’t Visit Russia, Qatar
Captain of the England women’s football team Casey Stoney came out as gay to BBC Sport Monday.
“I was living a lie. I’ve never hidden it within football circles because it is accepted, but to the outside world, I’ve never spoken about my sexuality,” Stoney told BBC Sport.
Stoney has 116 caps for the English national team including captaining Great Britain during the London Olympics.
“In the past, I made up lies about having a boyfriend or acted a certain way because I felt like that’s how I had to act and be accepted by the modern world,” Stoney said in the interview.
“But I wasn’t happy doing that because I was always lying, and lying to myself as well.”
Despite the support Stoney has received for her announcement, the footballer criticized FIFA for their next two World Cup choices.
“I won’t be going to Russia or Qatar to watch a World Cup because I wouldn’t be accepted there.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and Russia recently passed a law banning homosexual “propaganda” aimed at minors.
“[It’s] incredible that these countries get World Cups and Olympics,” Stoney said.
“When Russian President Vladimir Putin says that gay people can come over but please don’t go near the children, what sort of message is that sending if he is that uneducated and he’s ruling that country? It seriously worries me.”
Qatar 2022 Delegation Visits U.S.
Members of the Qatar 2022 organizing committee visited two American cities last week as part of their preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup.
A delegation led by Nasser Al Khater, the committee’s executive director of communications and marketing, was accompanied by Susan Ziadeh, the United States ambassador to Qatar, as they traveled to Atlanta and Miami.
The group sought to build commercial and media ties and tour sporting venues as part of a reverse trade mission.
Al Khater called the venture “highly successful.”
“Over the course of last week, we were able to talk to leaders in technology and innovation for the latest in fan experience, cooling systems, security, transportation, accommodation, and many other areas,” said Al Khater in a release. “Our long list of American partners who we have worked with in the past showcases just how much we value innovation and expertise from this country.”
The United States accounts for 20% of Qatar’s imports, making it the Gulf state’s top trading partner.