World Cup organisers issue warning to gay fans

FIFA World Cup

Gay fans attending the World Cup in Russia have been warned not to hold hands in some of the cities staging matches during the tournament.

The advice will be included in a guide being prepared by anti-discrimination group FARE to help supporters cope with potential homophobia and racism in Russia.

Though there are no strict penalties for homosexuality, a recent poll indicated that majority of Russians are against it.

FARE executive director, Piara Powar, said: “We 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 details 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.

“Gay people have a place in Russia but it is quite hidden and underground.”