By Toby Howe
With the World Cup days away, certain AFC Bournemouth fans are increasingly concerned about the representation of communities at the tournament.
Lewis Burley is a part of the LGBT+ community and Football obsessed, two things which don’t go hand-in-hand focusing on Qatar.
Debate has spread like Wildfire across the world questioning Football’s identity and accusations of Sport washing are becoming frequent.
Lewis shared his thoughts: “In Football terms, I think everywhere should have the chance to host the world cup, I like how the world cup is in winter – it’s a change from normal and English Football is always changing so a chance to adapt is great.
“In Ethics and Morales terms, I don’t like how the World Cup is being held there. I personally don’t believe the Russia should have hosted in 2018 either”.
Public figures across the UK have spoken about the topic and one is Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
He stated – Football Fans should show some flex and compromise about following the laws and beliefs of Qatar.
In response Lewis said: “Why should we compromise who we are and who we love?”.
A clear statement with an abundance of meaning.
It’s become a taboo subject for Football Players leading up to the competition – although majority of captains are wearing ‘One Love’ armbands to represent the mistreated and show support to individuals who have suffered from the reality of Qatar and its Laws.
Some players have decided against it in order to conform and respect beliefs of the host nation, some fans lie in disagreement.
Tom Lake is a local regular in one of Bournemouth’s out of the way pubs – The King’s Arms.
Situated in Wallisdown, Dorset – regulars such as Tom have their own opinions.
He thinks: “it’s such a crucial tournament to the game and a lot of the political factors are overshadowing what it’s all about, I think it’s tainted compared to the past”
Its owner, Angie, is preparing for what she expects to be a busy World Cup and focusing on the more positive actions the competition will have on her business.
“I think we’re going to do very well, it’s different this year because we had Covid in the euros meaning we could only take bookings but this time, no bookings means more walk ins. We should be heaving.”