The UK's sports minister Stuart Andrew, who is openly gay, is wearing the OneLove armband for the highly anticipated Battle of Britain World Cup match this evening.Mr Andrew was pictured in the stands of Qatar's Ahmed bin Ali Stadium alongside Welsh economy minister Vaughan Gething and Secretary David Davies on Tuesday night as the game got underway.

Wearing a rainbow tie, his armband and his identifying documentation on a lanyard, Mr Andrew jumped to his feet and clapped in a box at the stadium.

Earlier, he said he felt it was his duty to take a stand against Qatar's homosexuality laws, but seriously considered boycotting the tournament.

He said: 'These games should be a celebration show and for all football fans to enjoy. But sadly so many of them are feeling that these are not.

'This is not a tournament for them. I met with LGBT football supporters, and it was really distressing to see actually how emotional they got that they couldn't be. They didn't feel they could be part of this and that is not acceptable.'

Mr Andrew told the Evening Standard he felt he had a 'responsibility' to attend, but would not pander to the nation's divisive views.

His stance appears at odds with that of Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who was strongly criticised last month for urging gay fans to show a 'little bit of flex and compromise' and to 'respect the culture of your host nation'. 

Mr Gething, who is in Qatar promoting Wales and its business interests at the World Cup, wore a rainbow lanyard as a show of support.

'Stuart Andrew needs to make his own choices, and he's in a different position, this is very personal for him and I understand that.

'So I'm not going to criticise him for the choices he makes. We will carry on doing what we've done, as I say being positive and promoting Wales and our values.'

Mr Gething was at an event at Katara Cultural Village in Doha on Monday, to see a mural created by Welsh artists there, wearing a rainbow flag badge.

Welsh Secretary David Davies stood between the other two men, wearing a bucket hat and 'proudly' supporting Wales in the match. 

The image of Mr Andrew and Mr Gething so openly defying calls to maintain neutrality come after it was revealed fans were having their flags checked before entering Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.
Stuart Andrew

The UK’s sports minister Stuart Andrew, who is openly gay, is wearing the OneLove armband for the highly anticipated Battle of Britain World Cup match this evening.

 

Mr Andrew was pictured in the stands of Qatar’s Ahmed bin Ali Stadium alongside Welsh economy minister Vaughan Gething and Secretary David Davies on Tuesday night as the game got underway.

 

Wearing a rainbow tie, his armband and his identifying documentation on a lanyard, Mr Andrew jumped to his feet and clapped in a box at the stadium.

 

Earlier, he said he felt it was his duty to take a stand against Qatar’s homosexuality laws, but seriously considered boycotting the tournament.

 

He said: ‘These games should be a celebration show and for all football fans to enjoy. But sadly so many of them are feeling that these are not.

 

‘This is not a tournament for them. I met with LGBT football supporters, and it was really distressing to see actually how emotional they got that they couldn’t be. They didn’t feel they could be part of this and that is not acceptable.’

 

Mr Andrew told the Evening Standard he felt he had a ‘responsibility’ to attend, but would not pander to the nation’s divisive views.

 

His stance appears at odds with that of Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who was strongly criticised last month for urging gay fans to show a ‘little bit of flex and compromise’ and to ‘respect the culture of your host nation’.

 

Mr Gething, who is in Qatar promoting Wales and its business interests at the World Cup, wore a rainbow lanyard as a show of support.

 

‘Stuart Andrew needs to make his own choices, and he’s in a different position, this is very personal for him and I understand that.

 

‘So I’m not going to criticise him for the choices he makes. We will carry on doing what we’ve done, as I say being positive and promoting Wales and our values.’

 

Mr Gething was at an event at Katara Cultural Village in Doha on Monday, to see a mural created by Welsh artists there, wearing a rainbow flag badge.

 

Welsh Secretary David Davies stood between the other two men, wearing a bucket hat and ‘proudly’ supporting Wales in the match.

 

The image of Mr Andrew and Mr Gething so openly defying calls to maintain neutrality come after it was revealed fans were having their flags checked before entering Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

By obio

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