Publication:

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - 2021-11-21

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I’m in a quandary over my World Cup promise and anti-gay Qatar

Ruth Davidson

I WAS a student in 1998, the last time Scotland got to a football World Cup. Cash-strapped, I decided to work during the summer holidays rather than try to get to France and sofa surf, watching games in town squares (as tickets would have been beyond my means). I always promised myself I would go the next time Scotland qualified. I never expected it to take 24 years, but with Scotland now seeded in the play-offs it is a real possibility. But I also have an aversion to supporting countries where gay people are persecuted. In Qatar, not only is it illegal to be gay, enforced by prison sentences and public lashings, but Muslim people can be handed a death sentence under Sharia law there. Add in the human rights abuses of workers shipped in to build the stadiums, and a promise to my younger self to follow the Tartan Army next time we’re in World Cup action has collided with another promise not to contribute to tourism in anti-gay or authoritarian nations. Maybe I’ll just invest in a better TV.

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