Gay and lesbian soccer fans that are planning on going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia are being told to not hold hands in public or at the games. While the warning doesn’t come directly from the Russian government, Pirar Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare) said: “The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT community. The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans—do 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.”
Russia came under heavy criticism by the international community after it passed anti-gay propaganda laws that were used to target the LGBT community. Despite this, the international community descended on the country for the Olympics. FIFA had already planned the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and despite protest decided to keep the games there.
Fans are inarguably upset about this decision with one writing on Twitter:
Gay fans told not to hold hands in Russia. 1) good to see FIFA holding a tournament where fans rather than homophobes have to adapt their behaviour. 2) As if you'd hold hands at a match in England anyway #LGBTQ
— ALEX KAY-JELSKI (@AlexKJTimes) November 29, 2017