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Arsenal and England ace Beth Mead criticises ‘disappointing’ decision to host World Cup in Qatar

BETH MEAD shared her dismay on the World Cup being held in Qatar following fierce criticism of the country’s anti-homosexuality laws.

The Euros Golden Boot winner said it is “disappointing” that the contest which starts later was being hosted in the Gulf state.

Beth Mead says she will not be promoting this year’s men’s World Cup

The Lionesses and Arsenal star was sharing her thoughts on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour 17 days before the start of the World Cup.

Controversy regarding Qatar’s laws against homosexuality has dogged the build-up to this year’s tournament, in which Gareth Taylor’s England side will compete.

Same-sex relationships remain illegal in the state and homosexuality can be punishable by death.

The decision to host one of the world’s biggest sports events in the country has been met with anger from campaigners within the LGBTQ community.

And Mead, whose partner is Arsenal team-mate Vivianne Miedema, is among a number of high-profile sports figures who have raised concerns about human rights in Qatar.

The Gunners forward, who helped England win the Euros in July said: “From the minute it was announced, I thought it’s not the best idea.

 “The way they think is the complete opposite of what I believe and respect.

“Although I will be cheering for the boys who are going to play football, I still don’t think it’s the right place, but unfortunately money talks.

“It’s not something that I will be back in our promoting at all but unfortunately, it is going ahead.

“It’s just disappointing I guess in the sense of there’s no respect on a lot of levels even though it’s a game of football.”

In October England skipper Harry Kane revealed he would be wearing a OneLove campaign armband even if it is not ordered by Fifa.

The armbands are being worn by the Three Lions striker and nine other European country captains who are backing a season-long campaign against discrimination.

Elsewhere 16 players from Australia’s men’s team – including Socceroos captain Mat Ryan -collectively spoke out on Qatar’s human rights in a video released last month.

Among the issues they raised were concerns over issues faced by migrant workers in the country.

On the challenges that have faced workers who helped construct stadiums, Mead added: “The situation with the stadiums being built and the number of people that have passed because of that – it’s not ideal.”

In June, it was reported Qatar’s World Cup bosses said gay fans will not be mistreated when they visit the country.  

However, activist Peter Tatchell, 70, was “arrested and detained on a kerbside” while staging a protest in the country’s capital Doha, although its government denied this occurred.

Harry Kane will wear a OneLove armband during the World Cup

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