Wales will shine light on Qatar problems – Bale

Captain Gareth Bale says Wales plan to highlight “the problems there are going on” in Qatar during the World Cup.

Wales start their first World Cup campaign in 64 years against the United States on Monday, 21 November.

Qatar has been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, human rights record and treatment of migrant workers.

“Of course for us as footballers, it’s been a difficult subject to talk about,” said Bale.

“We can shed a light on the problems there are going on.

“We’ve spoken to the FAW [Football Association of Wales] and they’ve been speaking to Welsh government, who’ve been speaking to Qatar and Fifa, working on these issues.

“For us as players, we’re fully behind and support everything we can do. Us as footballers, the most we can do is raise awareness and it’s for people higher up to make those decisions and hopefully make change for the better.”

After the USA match, Wales face Iran on 25 November before meeting England in their final group-stage game four days later.

Bale, 33, will wear a OneLove captain’s armband during the tournament. OneLove is a campaign started in the Netherlands prior to Euro 2020 to promote diversity and inclusion, and as a message against discrimination.

Wales have joined the Dutch, England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in supporting the initiative.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney has said protests over human rights issues in Qatar are “not a beauty pageant”.

Gay relationships are banned and against the law in Qatar and gay, lesbian, and transgender people in the country face fines, time in prison or even the death sentence.

The World Cup’s organisers say “everyone is welcome” and claim no one will be discriminated against.

However, chief executive Nasser al Khater said there will not be a change to Qatar’s laws during the tournament and asked visitors to “respect our culture”.

He has said that in Qatar any public displays of affection such as kissing between couples – whether gay or straight – are culturally inappropriate.

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Herman Nnyanzi 'The Analyst' is a Ugandan multimedia sports journalist who started his career in 2017. He has a genuine strong love for sports and expertise, especially football. Contact me on +256704472629 or +256786403603

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