Article By GQ Germany
~ JUNE 2022 ~
Anyone who travels to Qatar as an unmarried person to watch the games of the Fifa World Cup 2022 must, for better or worse, only deal with the sport – or in case of doubt, with themselves. Because anyone caught having sex outside of marriage in the conservative country could face jail for a whopping seven years, as per Qatar’s law for sex outside of marriage.
No one-night stands or parties at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
The Middle Eastern Arab country is known for its strict laws such as a general ban on sex outside of marriage, serving alcohol outside of restaurants, showing affection between men and women in public and wearing overly revealing clothing.
These regulations are at odds with football fans’ drinking and partying culture before and after matches, which for many is at least as important as the sporting event itself.
But the laws in the venue also apply to visitors.
The latest news from Qatar falls into the “absurd bans” category. According to The Star, fans reported being discouraged from booking hotels in Qatar with different surnames for the same room, citing that only married couples are allowed to book a hotel room together.
A British police source reportedly told the magazine: “Sex is not on the menu unless you come as a married couple.”
And further: “There will be no parties at all. Everyone has to keep a cool head if they don’t want to risk ending up in prison.”
Fifa: “The safety of all fans is of paramount importance to us”
While the fans are wondering how such restrictions are supposed to create a suitable atmosphere, Nasser Al Khater, director of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, explained that those responsible are primarily concerned with bringing the sporting event safely to the stage: “The safety of all fans is of the utmost importance to us.”
And Fifa itself said in advance that “everyone is welcome” at the forthcoming tournament.
However, given the strict regulations, it is difficult to imagine that with the culture shock and the threat of such severe penalties for non-compliance, there will not be an accumulation of problems or even arrests.