Watford have been criticised after agreeing to play a friendly against Qatar’s national side.
The country is set to host this year’s World Cup in November and December but has questionable views on homosexuality, human rights and women’s rights.
In that context, LGBT+ fan groups have labelled the decision to face Qatar ‘very disappointing’.
The Hornets, relegated from the Premier League last season, will face the Qataris in July during a pre-season training camp in Austria ahead of the 2022-23 Championship campaign.
And representatives from Watford women’s fans group and their LGBT+ fans’ group have blasted the club for arranging the game.
A joint statement read: ‘Women of Watford (WOW) and Proud Hornets are very disappointed that Watford FC will play the Qatar national team at its training camp.
Watford have been criticised for arranging a friendly against Qatar’s national side (pictured)
‘We urge our team to display its support for all human rights, the LGBT+ community & women’s rights at the game and will discuss this directly with the club.’
The Hornets, under new manager Rob Edwards, who arrived this summer from Forest Green after Roy Hodgson left the club, begin their season at Vicarage Road against Sheffield United on August 1.
It follows their relegation from the Premier League last season and the departure of Roy Hodgson as manager.
The Championship side’s decision was labelled ‘very disappointing’ by LGBT+ fan groups
Qatar are currently ranked 51st in the FIFA rankings won the right to host the World Cup in contentious circumstances, have qualified automatically for the competition as hosts and will face Holland, Senegal and Ecuador at the group stage.
The World Cup hosts however were humbled by Northern Irish club Linfield earlier in the week. In a practice match in Marbella, Spain on Tuesday night, David Healy’s side beat Qatar 1-0.
Former Rangers striker Chris McKee scored the only goal of the game to give the south Belfast side the win.