France captain Hugo Lloris is expressing trepidation about taking a stand for LGBTQ rights at the World Cup.
Lloris, who plays goalie for France, said recently he doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up against Qatar’s brutal treatment of LGBTQ people. Homosexuality is illegal in the desert nation, and Muslims can be executed for it (that’s one of 8 reasons why LGBTQ people are concerned about Qatar hosting the World Cup).
“When we are in France, when we welcome foreigners, we often want them to follow our rules, to respect our culture, and I will do the same when I go to Qatar, quite simply,” he said, via The Independent. “I can agree or disagree with their ideas, but I have to show respect.”
Lloris is echoing the concerns of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who sent a letter earlier this month to all 32 World Cup teams urging players to stay quiet about social and political issues. FIFA rules prohibit teams from wearing their own armband designs during the tournament.
France captain Hugo Lloris is unsure about wearing a rainbow armband in Qatar. pic.twitter.com/hyWzxezLat— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 15, 2022
Despite that policy, 13 European teams plan to partake in the “OneLove” campaign meant to express support for LGBTQ equality. Participating players will wear a rainbow armband — with different colors than the LGBTQ rainbow — to promote inclusion.
While that’s hardly a radical stance, it’s still a strong statement for players to make in the face of political pressures to remain silent. Lloris referenced French federation president Noel Le Graet’s skepticism about the armband when explaining his hesitancy.
He also mentioned FIFA’s strict uniform rules.
“Before we start anything, we need the agreement of Fifa, the agreement of the (French) federation,” he said. “Of course, I have my personal opinion on the topic. And it’s quite close to the (French federation) president’s.”
The U.S. men’s national team, thankfully, isn’t tiptoeing around the issue. The USMNT is using a special logo adorned with Pride colors at its training center in Ar-Rayyan, Qatar.
Lloris implied he intends to display some sort of support for LGBTQ people — he said we “can’t remain insensitive to these issues” — but it’s apparent he won’t be making any strong proclamations.