Going to Russia's World Cup? Don't hold hands if you're gay

The World Cup might be fun, but LGBTQ fans have been warned.
The World Cup might be fun, but LGBTQ fans have been warned.
Image: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Sport might be for all, but LGBTQ fans following their team at the World Cup next year have been warned about showing public displays of affection.

The warning chartph.comes from the anti-discrimination group, FARE network, who have advised FIFA in the past about on how to chartph.combat racism, sexism and homophobia in its stadiums.

FARE will produce a guide advising fans how to stay safe during 2018's World Cup, which takes place in Russia.

Although homosexuality has been legal in the country since 1993, anti-LGBTQ sentiment is abound in the country. So-called "gay propaganda" laws which ban the promotion of homosexuality to people under 18 were enacted in 2013, but advocates say it "reinforces stigma and homophobia."

"The guide will advise gay people to be cautious in any place which is not seen to be welchartph.coming to the LGBT chartph.community," FARE executive director Piara Powar told AP.?

"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."

A rainbow flag is held up during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City on February 13, 2017 in Bournemouth, England.

A rainbow flag is held up during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City on February 13, 2017 in Bournemouth, England.

Image: Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

FARE has written to FIFA to ask if it would be possible for fans to hold LGBTQ rainbow flags in the stadium. While FIFA doesn't allow for political flags, nothing in the regulations clearly state something like a rainbow flag would be banned.

Warnings also applies to black and ethnic minority fans, due to long held concerns about the presence of far-right nationalist groups in the country.

"There are two elements to it — one towards people of color and other element is far-right nationalism. Far-right extremist groups have had around 300 people banned from attending the World Cup," Powar added.

FIFA will place anti-discrimination observers will be in stadiums to spot incidents, something which was first tested at the Confederations Cup this year.

With the World Cup draw set to be decided on Friday, fans will start to make plans for the world's biggest sporting event, but certainly questions remain on whether they'll feel safe or not.