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Watford come under fire from LGBT+ fan groups after they announce friendly with Qatar national side

Watford has come under fire from LGBT+ fan groups after Hornets announced a friendship with Qatar’s national side – with the decision to hold an exhibition match that was labeled ‘very disappointing’ given the country’s views on homosexuality, human rights and women’s rights

  • Watford criticized after friendly against Qatar national team
  • The Championship side will take on the country that will host the World Cup in 2022
  • Qatar has dubious views on homosexuality, human rights and women’s rights
  • LGBT+ fan groups label decision to play Qatar ‘very disappointing’
  • Click here for all the latest 2022 World Cup news and updates

Watford has been criticized for agreeing to play a friendly against the Qatar national team.

The country will host the World Cup in November and December this year, but has questionable views on homosexuality, human rights and women’s rights.

In that context, LGBT+ fan groups label the decision to confront Qatar as ‘very disappointing’.

The Hornets, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, will face the Qataris in July in a preparation camp in Austria ahead of the 2022-23 championship campaign.

And representatives of the Watford women’s fan group and their LGBT+ fan base have criticized the club for arranging the match.

A joint statement said: “Women of Watford (WOW) and Proud Hornets are very disappointed that Watford FC will play against the Qatar national team at training camp.

Watford has been criticized for arranging a friendly against Qatar's national side (pictured)

Watford has been criticized for arranging a friendly against Qatar’s national side (pictured)

“We are urging our team to support all human rights, the LGBT+ community and women’s rights during the competition and will discuss this directly with the club.”

The Hornets, under new manager Rob Edwards, who arrived from Forest Green this summer after Roy Hodgson left the club, will begin their season at Vicarage Road against Sheffield United on August 1.

It follows their relegation from the Premier League last season and the departure of Roy Hodgson as manager.

Championship side's decision was labeled 'very disappointing' by LGBT+ fan groups

Championship side’s decision was labeled ‘very disappointing’ by LGBT+ fan groups

Qatar is currently 51st in the FIFA rankings, has been granted the right to host the World Cup in controversial circumstances, has automatically qualified to host the competition and will face the Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador in the group stage.

However, the World Cup hosts were humiliated earlier this week by Northern Ireland club Linfield. In an exhibition game in Marbella, Spain on Tuesday night, David Healy’s side defeated Qatar 1-0.

Former Rangers striker Chris McKee scored the only goal of the game to give the South Belfast side the win.

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