James Cleverley to take part in World Cup despite Labor claims he is ‘deaf’ (Photo: AP/Getty)

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has hit back at the Foreign Secretary’s advice to LGBTQ+ football fans to “respect” Qatari culture.

The activist was detained after staging the first ever LGBTQ+ protest in the country to highlight human rights abuses the day before World Cup.

But James Cleverley warned that football fans would have to “make some compromises” and “show respect” to the host country.

Mr Tatchell was questioned by police and eventually released but said he had been questioned.

But authorities in Qatar – where homosexuality is illegal – have denied his arrest, calling the reports “completely false and baseless”.

The 70-year-old activist said his aim was to draw attention to the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, women and migrant workers in the Gulf country.

Mr Tatchell said: “The UK Government must use its public voice to condemn the appalling human rights abuses committed daily by the Qatari regime.

“If we all don’t speak up, Qatar will achieve its goal of washing away its terrible reputation during the World Cup.” Mr. Cleverley has an opportunity to highlight the abuses perpetrated by the regime.

Peter Tatchell organized the first ever LGBTQ+ protest in Qatar (Photo: Peter Tatchell Foundation)

“All fans, not just LGBT, should boycott the FIFA World Cup and use their social media to amplify Qatar’s shocking human rights abuses. A trip to the World Cup is a collusion with a homophobic, sexist and racist regime.”

Mr Cleverley said today he had not spoken to Qatari authorities about Mr Tatchell’s arrest.

He told LBC radio: “I have not spoken to the Qatari government in direct response to Peter Tatchell, but my understanding is that he was questioned, that he was supported by the FCDO consular team.

“In the past I have spoken to Qatari authorities about gay football fans coming to watch the World Cup and how they will treat our fans and international fans.

“They want to make sure football fans are safe, secure and happy, and they know that means they’re going to have to make some compromises in terms of what is an Islamic country with a set of cultural norms that are very different from ours. own

“One of the things I would say to football fans is, you know, please respect the host country.

“They’re trying to make sure people can be themselves and enjoy football and I think with a little bit of flexibility and compromise on both sides it can be a safe, secure and exciting World Cup.”

James Cleverley has told LGBTQ+ football fans to be ‘respectful’ while in Qatar (Image: AP)

Mr Cleverley confirmed he would attend the World Cup and criticized Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, who refuses to attend because of Qatar’s homophobic views.

Mr Cleverley hit back, saying: “As Leader of the Opposition he is in a great position to send messages. I have a real job.”

But Labor criticized the Foreign Secretary’s comments as “tone-deaf” and “regime-endorsing”.

Labour’s shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell said: ‘James Cleverley is stunningly tone deaf. Sports should be open to everyone.

“Many fans will feel unable to attend this tournament to support their team due to Qatar’s human rights, labor and LGBT+ records.

“The government should challenge FIFA on how they have put fans in this position and ensure the full safety of all fans in attendance, not defend discriminatory values.”

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