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Prince William 'won't travel to Qatar to watch England in the World Cup' amid concerns over human rights in the country
28 October 2022, 08:46 | Updated: 4 November 2022, 09:59
Prince William will not travel to Qatar to watch England play in the World Cup in November amid concerns over the country's human rights record.
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The Prince, who is President of the Football Association, was expected to attend games at the tournament, which starts next month.
But sources close to the heir to the throne said he no longer will due to a busy diary during the competition, The Sun reported.
William and wife Kate's schedules are laid out six months in advance, though no space was found for Qatar.
Protests have been held over over poor conditions for migrant workers and the country's criminalisation of same-sex relationships.
William became the first member of the Firm to appear on the cover of gay magazine Attitude in 2016, and commended the bravery of gay, lesbian and transgender young people who have been subjected to bullying.
He said: "No one should be bullied for their sexuality."
Friends of the Prince say it is unlikely he would travel to the final on December 18 if the Three Lions progress that far, and he would likely only be among a government delegation.
On Wednesday, LGBT rights activists hailed the decision not to go to Qatar, where same sex-relationships are illegal.
Ben Kentish schools this caller who defends James Cleverly's comments on Qatar
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was accused of being "shockingly tone-deaf" on the issue during an appearance on LBC on Wednesday after warning gay attendees to be "respectful" in Qatar.
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker criticised the remarks, tweeting: "Whatever you do, don’t do anything Gay. Is that the message?"
The England captain Harry Kane is among several skippers planning to wear a rainbow “OneLove” armband at the competition.
Human rights organisation Amnesty International has also called on Fifa to pay at least £350million in compensation to victims of migrant worker abuses.
Prince William didn't attend games at the last two World Cups in Russia and Brazil.
It was reported at the time that the future king was not allowed to go to Russia for the 2018 finals in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attacks.