Just prior to the first match of this year’s World Cup in St. Petersburg, a gay couple were brutally attacked.
A Frenchman identified only as O. Davrius and his partner, who hasn’t been named, were physically assaulted and robbed of their money and cellphones. Davrius suffered a fractured jaw, an open head injury and possible brain damage.
The opening match in the 2018 World Cup was between two anti-LGBTQ+ nations: Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Davrius and his partner were reportedly targeted and attacked after they caught a taxi.
Perhaps you know this already, but FIFA is the worst. Just the absolute worst. Driven solely by the desire for profit, they’ve ignored the civil rights and safety of fans, and even players, for decades. They’ve received a great deal of criticism for the decision to hold this year’s games in Russia, especially in light of the incarcerations and executions in Chechnya.
Organizations for LGBTQ+ soccer fans have been receiving threats for months leading up to the World Cup. One such group, Pride in Football, received messages saying LGBTQ+ soccer fans would be hunted down and killed.
Russia’s government is openly homophobic. Anti-LGBTQ+ crimes in the nation have risen sharply since 2013, when the “gay propaganda” law came into play. This law bans any positive mention of LGBTQ+ people or rights in any place accessible to minors.
Nevertheless, in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremonies, this year’s World Cup organizing committee told LGBTQ+ fans that no harm would come to them at this year’s series.
In four years, FIFA is holding the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is flat-out illegal.