USA changes badge to include Pride colors ahead of Qatar World Cup
The US has redesigned its shield to display the Pride rainbow in a show of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. It will be on display at the nation’s training base in the Middle East and at the pre-match parties US Soccer is hosting for fans the night before their games.
Qatar’s human rights record and its attitude towards homosexuality have been two major factors why FIFA’s award of the 2010 World Cup has been so controversial. But according to the athleticUS Soccer informed the Qatari Supreme Committee of its plans in late 2021, telling them rather than asking for permission.
Player uniforms will not feature the crest, but it will be displayed in all areas they control. Neil Buethe, communications director for the USMNT, told the Mail: “Our rainbow badge plays an important and ongoing role in the identity of US Soccer.
“As part of our approach to any game or event, we include the rainbow brand to support and embrace the LGBTQ community, as well as promote a spirit of inclusion and welcome to all fans around the world.
“As a result, the locations we will manage and operate at the FIFA World Cup, such as the team hotel, press areas and parties, will feature US Soccer’s traditional and rainbow branding.”
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Male homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, punishable by up to three years in prison and possibly, for gay Muslims, the death penalty. Earlier this month, Qatar’s World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman described homosexuality as “damaging the mind.”
Said, “They [fans] we have to accept our rules here. [Homosexuality] it is haraam Do you know what is prohibited? [forbidden] medium?’ I am not a strict muslim but why is it haram? Because it’s a damage in the mind.”
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