(CMR) Members of the LGBTQ community, unmarried couples, and people belonging to religions outside Muslim could find themselves in trouble if they do not adhere to the laws of Qatar, host of the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
Persons who wish to consume alcoholic beverages will also need to exercise caution and follow the country's laws to avoid being imprisoned.
Just two days before the tournament's first match in the Muslim nation, officials announced that fans would not be allowed to drink beer at the country's eight World Cup stadiums. According to NPR, regular fans won't have access to alcohol at matches. Only spectators in the stadiums' high-end luxury suites will have easy access to booze. Outside the stadiums, fans can still drink at special World Cup gathering spaces or specially licensed restaurants, bars, and hotels around the country.
The public consumption of alcohol is illegal in Qatar and carries a penalty of up to six months in prison and a fine of more than $800. Smuggling alcohol into the country has a penalty of up to three years in prison.
NPR also reported that with Islam the official religion of Qatar anyone found to be proselytizing for other religions or criticizing Islam could be criminally prosecuted. Persons attending the World Cup are encouraged not to practcd their faith openly unless in designated areas to do so.
Speech that's deemed critical of the Qatari government could trigger an arrest. Those laws apply to both spoken words and social media, NPR reported. While in past World Cups there have been scenes of rival crowds yelling or even singing obscenities at one another, open conflicts can bring big problems in Qatar.
Homosexuality is also criminalized in Qatar, with LGBTQ people subjected to conversion therapy, harassment by authorities, and imprisonment, Visitors to Qatar can also face harsh punishments for indecent acts and sexual intercourse outside of marriage, NPR stated.s.
Pregnant fans going to Qatar for the World Cup should be prepared to show a marriage certificate if they need prenatal care there, the US State Department has warned, according to NPR.
Also, dress codes in many public areas require both men and women to cover shoulders, chests, stomachs, and knees, and that tight leggings be covered by a long shirt or dress.