A warning has been issued to LGBTI fans hoping to attend next years FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The warning which comes from the football anti-discrimination group Fare cautions that LGBTI fans may be at risk if they show public affection while attending Russia’s World Cup.
Piara Powar who is the group’s executive director announced that they intend to publish a guide with the aim of helping LGBTI attendees better understand the dangers they may face.
“The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT community,” said Powar.
“The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans – to go to the World Cup but be cautious. If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so – that depends on which city they are in and the time of day.”
Powar added, “The guide will also include some detailed explanations of, for example, the actual situation of the LGBT community in Russia.”
“It is not a crime to be gay but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors. Issues relating to the LGBT community are not part of the public discourse. Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite hidden and underground.”
The organisation has since also asked FIFA to clarify queries from fans about whether or not they will be allowed to wave rainbow flags in stadia during the World Cup.
FIFA who do not allow political statements to be made during matches may define any display of rainbow flags as such.
Russia’s LGBTI community continues to face ongoing discrimination, restrictions, and stigma. The nations controversial law banning any promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations, has resulted in any public demonstrations and Pride events in support of LGBTI equality being outlawed.
The 2018 Football World Cup runs from the 14th of June to the 15th of July 2018 across 11 cities throughout Russia.