Donald Trump Jr. blasted the United States and defended World Cup host Qatar on Thursday, saying “the West has ceded the high moral ground.”
Qatar was a controversial choice to host the World Cup as the country has been accused of several civil and human rights violations, including allegations of harassment against the LGBTQ community.
The Middle Eastern country has also imposed “frightening” restrictions on media coverage that make it difficult to investigate the country’s treatment of women, LGBTQ citizens and migrant workers. Its ban on alcohol in stadiums has also drawn complaints from many football fans.
On Thursday, Trump Jr. tweeted that the United States had no right to criticize such restrictions.
“After turning a blind eye to pedophilia and the sexualization of our children as well as forcing people to get vaccinated against their will and with serious consequences etc., the West has really ceded the moral ground to b **** that Qatar applies its beliefs to the World Cup”, Trump Jr. tweeted.
Homosexuality in Qatar is illegal and can lead to up to three years in prison. FIFA, the international governing body of football, and the government of Qatar have continually asserted that anti-LGBTQ laws will not affect the inclusivity of the World Cup.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has repeatedly stressed that the tournament will be a safe environment for all, saying in October: “Everyone will be welcome at the tournament, regardless of race, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality”.
Liz Ward, program director of LGBTQ rights group Stonewall, said Newsweek in a pre-tournament report, “Unfortunately, this year’s tournament is not safe for everyone.”
This week, fans wearing LGBTQ-themed hats to root for Wales during a Cup game claimed they were approached by security and asked to remove them.
Qatar’s alcohol ban has been challenged, given that beer is one of the main beverages typically served at a football match. The conservative Muslim nation has restricted alcohol sales at games, which has complicated World Cup sponsorship with Budweiser.
There would be fan zones that sell alcohol elsewhere. A source said last week Newsweek that “these fan zones will serve alcohol, as well as hotels and bars/clubs in these hotels.
“You can’t take alcohol on the street, the same as in many (most) US states. What people should expect is that they will be able to drink, if they want to, but not in stadiums or near them. I think that makes it a much more family-friendly event.”
Newsweek has contacted FIFA for comment.