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England players should fly the rainbow flag and St George’s Cross at the World Cup in Qatar – Andy Dunn

England footballers have been cautious when discussing off-field issues ahead of the World Cup in Qatar

England striker Harry Kane wears a rainbow colored captain's armband during the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 first leg soccer match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium in London on June 29, 2021. (Photo by Frank Augstein/POOL/AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
England striker Harry Kane wears a rainbow colored captain’s armband during the UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 first leg soccer match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium in London on June 29, 2021. (Photo by Frank Augstein/POOL/AFP) (Photo by FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The World Cup goes to Qatar, that’s for sure. And you get the feeling they know.

As the event approaches, local leaders will be involved in organizing World Cup 2022 don’t seem to feel the need to be as forgiving as they might have been when kick-off was a long way off.

answer to Gareth Southgates comments on that He found it a “great shame” that LGTBQ+ supporters are from England While perhaps not feeling safe about traveling to the World Cup, Qatar 2022 chief executive Nasser Al Khater said: “Someone with a lot of influence like Southgate, someone with a large audience that’s listening to what they’ve said has to choose their words carefully .”

If ever there was a man who chooses his words carefully it’s Southgate, and if he says LGTBQ+ fans will have serious concerns about going to the tournament then he’s done his research. If there’s one thing Southgate isn’t, it’s Scattergun. This isn’t a guy who makes accusations off the cuff. And if Southgate’s concerns needed confirmation from within Qatar, it came when Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari – a senior official overseeing security at the tournament – spoke about the possibility of rainbow flags being displayed at stadiums.

“If he (a fan) raised the rainbow flag and I took it from him, it’s not because I really want to take it to offend him, but to protect him,” Al Ansari said. “Because if it’s not me, someone else around him might attack… I can’t guarantee the behavior of all the people. You want to demonstrate your perspective on the situation, demonstrate it in a society where it will be accepted.”

Wow, that’s exactly the kind of reassurance LGTBQ+ Community needs before a trip to what is rumored to be the largest, most inclusive sports jamboree on the global calendar. But that’s not a demonstration. If it’s already accepted, don’t protest against anything. Therefore Lewis Hamilton wore a rainbow helmet in Qatar last year. After Hungary introduced anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, Sebastian Vettel knelt before the Hungarian Grand Prix in rainbow shorts with the words SAME LOVE on the front.

Al Ansari is a senior figure in Qatar’s public administration. He is Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Chairman of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee at the Ministry of the Interior. “Watch the game. That’s good,” he continued. “But don’t really come in and insult the whole company about it.”

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England manager Gareth Southgate was in Qatar to find out England’s opponents in last Friday’s World Cup draw
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REUTERS)

In other words, the LGBTQ+ community is “welcome” in Qatar… but keep quiet about it. Understandably, the England side were wary of what stance they would take when it came to tackling general matters off the pitch in Qatar. But if they choose, flying the rainbow flag alongside the flag of St. George would be a start.

Bizarre contract timing by Fernandes

There are very few judges out there who wouldn’t consider Bruno Fernandes a world class player on his day. In order to bind him to a contract that could keep him at Old Trafford until 2027 seems to make sense. Only Fernandes had more than three years left on his previous contract.

And while he proved his worth with the two goals that propelled Portugal to the finals of the World Cup last week, Fernandes’ form for United this season has hardly been outstanding. This new contract, which runs until 2026 but with an option for an extra year, serves an obvious purpose for Fernandes…it will bring him a whopping pay rise. But the timing feels wrong.

Fernandes has done very well since arriving just over two years ago – but at the moment it doesn’t seem like the right move for United to reward a player generously. And generously rewarding a player who has been noticed by both his groans and his maverick brilliance this season doesn’t seem like the right move for United.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/england-world-up-qatar-rainbow-26622750 England players should fly the rainbow flag and St George's Cross at the World Cup in Qatar - Andy Dunn

Fry Electronics Team

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