WATFORD, UK: Watford F.C. has cancelled a friendly match against the Qatar national team due to the Gulf country’s human rights record.
Two supporters’ groups— Women of Watford (WOW) and Proud Hornets—-had voiced concerns about Qatar’s human rights record, forcing Watford to cancel a friendly match against the Qatar national team.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf state — which is hosting the World Cup later this year — while Human Rights Watch says Qatari laws discriminate against women and LGBT individuals.
“The game was never finalized and it became abundantly clear this was a game not to play; as such, the schedule was revised,” a club spokesperson said, in a statement to British media.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Football Association said it had received a number of offers from European clubs, including Watford, to play friendly matches.
“After studying the offers… we selected some friendly matches with various European teams, and Watford was not among these matches that the team will play,” the Qatar Football Association said in a statement.
“WOW and Proud Hornets are delighted that Watford FC has listened to our concerns and cancelled the game with Qatar,” the two groups said in a joint statement on Twitter.