World’s only openly gay active pro footballer is concerned for LGBTQ community ahead of Qatar 2022 World Cup
The only openly gay active pro footballer in the world is concerned for the safety of the gay community ahead of the next World Cup, the World Professional Footballer’s Association (WPA) has revealed.
Shkodran Mustafi, the World Cup’s first openly gay active player, fears a backlash against homosexuality if the tournament is hosted in Qatar in 2022.
Mustafi told the BBC: ‘People have got too used to the idea that gay people are OK. It shouldn’t be accepted.
‘You can’t say something’s so normal that no-one questions it. People have got to get over it and get used to the idea that it’s not normal.
Mustafi fears repercussions against men who play with women’s under-20 team
‘If it happens then people might question what’s wrong with you, how could you possibly play with a woman and then go on playing with women’s football?
‘They might question how do you see women’s football, what are your feelings really about that and what are your feelings really about men and women playing together at all? That’s a very dangerous thing for people to think that gay people play with men and women.’
Mustafi has been an outspoken critic of homophobia and transphobia – after being the only openly gay player in the world to have a child.
He was also made an honorary consul of his adoptive country, Albania, in 2016.
The 33-year-old has been described as an ambassador for the equality of women and LGBT+ people in sport, after he was the first in football history to announce himself as being gay.
He also made an ‘Equality’ campaign video during the World Cup in which he says that all players – on and off the pitch – should be able to be themselves.
The video starts with Mustafi telling a child that he is a football player, and then says: ‘It doesn’t matter what you do on the pitch, I’m a gay guy, I’m a gay guy, and I’m a gay guy, that’s why I’m a gay guy, that’s why I’m a gay guy, why I’m a gay guy, why I’m a gay guy, why I’m a gay guy, why I’m a