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23 May 2022

Qatar World Cup 2022: FIFA "recommended" hotels the Torch, Wyndham Grand Regency & Magnum allegedly refused gay couple despite organisers' guarantees; incl. co. responses

Three hotels in Qatar, Wyndham's Grand Regency Doha, the Torch Hotel Doha, and Magnum Hotel and Suites, recently came under fire after allegedly refusing to accommodate a gay couple citing hotel policies and Qatar's laws.

These hotels are part of a list of 69 hotels FIFA recommends for visitors during the 2022 World Cup. Norwegian outlet NRK found 20 hotels would book the couple provided they did not show they were gay publicly; the remaining 33 booked the couple with no issues.

FIFA and World Cup organisers at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy have previously issued public guarantees that all visitors to Qatar during the World Cup will be welcome, regardless of sexuality. In relation to this incident, FIFA stated that any hotels or other service providers who did not comply with standards set for the World Cup would have their contracts terminated.

Hotels, as well as any other service provider associated with the Fifa World Cup, who fail to comply with the high standards set by the organisers will have their contracts terminated...the said requirements will continue to be reinforced in awareness-raising sessions and subsequently monitored and evaluated through audits and inspections of hotels linked to the Fifa World Cup.
“We will not stop anybody from coming and enjoying the football. But I also want everybody to come and understand and enjoy our culture. We welcome everybody, but also we expect and we want people to respect our culture”
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

This incident was seen as cause for concern for rights groups and other stakeholders. The Dutch FA publicly raised concerns about the safety of LGBTQIA+ supporters and emphasised the FA's role in spreading awareness.

We want all supporters not only to be safe, as the organization has already guaranteed to us, but also to feel welcome...We have already emphasized this to the local authorities and the organizing committee, and we will certainly do so again next month when we visit Qatar with the other European associations.
Dutch Football Association spokesperson

In May 2022, the Resource Centre reached out to the three hotels to ask for a response to these allegations. Wyndham and the Torch both provided responses in May 2022; they can be read in full below. Magnum did not respond.

Company Responses

The Torch Hotel Doha View Response
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts View Response
Magnum Hotels & Suites

No Response