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14 Jun 2022

James Williams, BBC (UK)

Qatar 2022: Welsh team to use tournament as "platform" for human rights while some team staff choose complete boycott

Michael Derrer Fuchs, Shutterstock (purchased)

"World Cup 2022: Wales staff boycott Qatar over gay rights" 12 Jun 2022

Some of the Welsh national football team's staff will not travel to the World Cup in Qatar because of the country's stance on gay rights.

Head of Welsh football Noel Mooney said the team would use the event as a "platform" to discuss human rights in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

He is also asking Fifa and Uefa to "think very deeply about their conscience" when choosing host nations.

"We are looking forward to playing a very active role, from the FAW and the Welsh government's perspective, in airing our views."

Mr Mooney said he did not believe it was the "right thing" for the team to boycott the tournament.

But he said some of his friends and FAW staff members "won't be travelling" to Qatar because of the country's stance on gay rights.

"The vast, vast majority of people will go and understand also our position that it is a platform to try to improve life there and to have good dialogue on issues like human rights... and migrant workers.

The FAW boss said he was concerned about "sports-washing", the use of sports by governments to distract from their human rights abuses.