Category: News

Homosexual fans warned against displaying affection at Russia World Cup

Gay rights activists march in Russia’s second city of St. Petersburg May 1, 2013, during their rally against a controversial law in the city that activists see as violating the rights of gays. AFP PHOTO / OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

LGBT fans will be warned against overt public displays of affection when they enter Russia to spectate the World Cup next summer.

FARE — formerly Football Against Racism in Europe and now a pressure group that campaigns for equality in football — will be producing a cautionary guide and dispersed to fans travelling to the tournament.

Piara Powar, executive director of Fare, said: “The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welcoming to the LGBT community. The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans — do go to the World Cup but be cautious. If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so — that depends on which city they are in and the time of day.”

“The guide will also include some detailed explanations of, for example, the actual situation of the LGBT community in Russia. It is not a crime to be gay but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors. Issues relating to the LGBT community are not part of the public discourse. Gay people have a place in Russia which is quite hidden and underground.”

FARE has also appealed to FIFA officially on behalf of two fans’ groups from Britain and Germany to ask for permission to raise a rainbow flag inside stadiums during the World Cup, which begins in June next year. They have also suggest that the world governing body introduce a specific official rule whereby fans can be reprimanded under a specific charge of homophobia.

FARE’s appeals follows the court of arbitration for sport’s decision to cancel two fines imposed by FIFA on Mexico’s FA after their fans loudly chanted the Spanish word “puto” — widely known to be an anti-gay slur — during international matches. FIFA had to bring charges under general fan misbehaviour as opposed to specific homophobic abuse.

“Since the Brazil World Cup we have seen variations of that chant becoming a big thing in football,” said Powar. “There is no offence of homophobia in FIFA’s rules and we have made clear that there should be. It is critical there is a clear message about FIFA’s ability to act in these cases against the fans that are responsible.”

Cristiano Ronaldo announces birth of daughter on Instagram

Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to Instagram to announce the birth of his daughter, a latest addition to his family in the last six months.

The Real Madrid superstar has posted a photo of himself, girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and his son Cristiano Jr., along with his newborn daughter Alana Martina, with the caption: ‘Alana Martina is just born! Both Geo and Alana are doing great! We are all very happy!’

Alana Martina, who the star announced the name of a few weeks ago, is Ronaldo and Rodriguez’s first child, his second daughter and fourth child.

“Being a father is a unique and personal journey, something that has changed me completely,” Ronaldo said last week. “It’s taught me things about love that I never knew existed. It has softened me and given me a different perspective on what is really important in my life.”

“I can’t wait to be a dad again. Being a father and seeing my family grow is without doubt the greatest privilege I’ve had. Spending time with them, being by their side, smiling and laughing with them. They’ve brought a lot of happiness and joy to my life.”

It has been a busy six months for the family as they previously announced this past summer the arrival of twins, a boy and girl named Mateo and Eva, via a surrogate. The pair were were born in a US hospital and brought back to Madrid where he lives by his doting mum.

Cristiano Jr, 7, is also thought to have been born by surrogate in the states.

In the summer, Ronaldo had previously missed the birth of the twins while away on international duty with Portugal for the Confederations Cup, but there were no such conflicts this time around as he was rested for Portugal’s November friendlies against Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Malaysia-North Korea games to be played in Thailand

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has finally announced that Asian Cup qualifier between Malaysia and North Korea will be played in neither countries but in Bangkok, Thailand instead.

However, the governing body has yet to announce details regarding although the venue and the kick-off times.

AFC made the announcement today that both fixtures of home and away fixtures for Malaysia against North Korea will be played on neutral ground, with the latter fixture had been previously postponed several times due to various reasons.

“We are extremely grateful for the continued support by the Football Association of Thailand in agreeing to play host for these two matches,”  said Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary. “The FA of Thailand has ensured that the AFC has been able to maintain the sporting integrity of the AFC Asian Cup qualifying.”

The schedule decided that the first match will be played on 10th November while the second on 13th November, with North Korea taking the role of designated host for the first match while Malaysia will host the second match.

At the moment, North Korea and Malaysia are currently occupying the bottom two places of Group B in the AFC qualifiers, where the top two finishers will make it to the final rounds in Qatar in 2019.

Both teams have yet to win any of their matches in the group that also comprises of Lebanon and Hong Kong, and Eduardo Vingada’s Malaysia team will need to win at least one of these matches against North Korea to stand any chance to reach the finals.