FACTCHECK: A Qatari spokesperson said that displaying a LGBTQ flag at the World Cup is punishable with prison time.

FACTCHECK: A Qatari spokesperson said that displaying a LGBTQ flag at the World Cup is punishable with prison time.

A post shared on Facebook claims a “Qatari spokesperson” said displaying an LGBTQ flag at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is punishable by up to 11 years in prison.

Verdict: False

The claim is fabricated. It is not clear that Qatari authorities have stated that displaying LGBTQ flags during the Qatar World Cup would result in incarceration.

Fact Check:

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to begin in Qatar in November, according to the organization’s website. A Facebook post claims that a “Qatari spokesperson” said that displaying an LGBTQ flag at the event is punishable with anywhere from seven to 11 years of incarceration.

“Qatar spokesperson: ‘whoever lift the LGBTQ flag in the world cup, will be arrested for 7 or 11 years, we’re here in an Islamic country you should respect our religion, beliefs and culture,'” the post’s caption reads.

This claim has been made. A search of the Qatar World Cup’s official website shows no results regarding the LGBTQ flag. There is likewise no mention of such a policy on the tournament’s verified Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to corroborate the viral claim. (RELATED: Did FIFA Announce A Plan To Extend World Cup Matches In Qatar By 10 Minutes? )

A FIFA spokesperson told The Associated Press in 2020 that rainbow flags and shirts are welcome in the stadium. However, a security official for the tournament told the outlet in April that rainbow flags may be confiscated from fans in order to “protect them from being attacked.” Same-sex relations are criminalized in Qatar, the outlet reports.

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Check Your Fact reached out to Qatar Supreme Committee and received a response. We will then update this article if we receive one.

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