Promiscuous sex is off the table at this winter’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar after authorities warned that any individual caught having sexual intercourse with anyone other than their spouse faces a custodial sentence of up to seven years.
There are growing concerns that attendees of soccer’s flagship tournament, due to be held for the first time in conservative Qatar in November, will find themselves in trouble with authorities for seemingly innocuous acts in liberal Western society, such as the consumption of alcohol and public displays of affection.
Drinking alcohol and sexual intercourse outside of marriage, irrespective of an individual’s sexual orientation, are both illegal in the Middle Eastern country and carry a jail term of up to seven years.
A police source said: “Sex is very much off the menu, unless you are coming as a husband and wife team. There definitely will be no one-night stands at this tournament.
“There will be no partying at all really. Everyone needs to keep their heads about them, unless they want to risk being stuck in prison.
“There is essentially a sex ban in place at this year’s World Cup for the first time ever. Fans need to be prepared,” they warned.
FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, has claimed that “all are welcome” at the World Cup finals but equally insists that “no exceptions” will be made for those who violate the Arab nation’s conservative customs.
A multitude of concerns have been expressed over the decision to hold the tournament in Qatar, a country with a questionable record on human rights, tolerance of religions other than Islam, and sexual beliefs.
Last December, the LGBT community expressed their disgust at the hostile decision by Qatari authorities to seize rainbow-colored toys.
“The ministry urges all citizens and residents to report any merchandise bearing logos or designs contrary to traditions,” Qatari news outlet QNA reported at the time.
The chief executive of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Nassar al-Khater, has previously told press conferences: “I would like to assure any fan, of any gender, (sexual) orientation, religion, and race, that Qatar is one of the safest countries in the world — and they’ll all be welcome here.”
Such an invitation does appear to be conditional, however, with al-Khater more recently warning soccer fans that acts such as public display of affection “are frowned upon; it’s not part of our culture – and that applies across the board to everybody.”