Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Media Group has come under fire after former Egypt international Mohamed Aboutrika, one of the station’s best-known pundits, said that homosexuality “is against human nature” and called on them Muslim footballers to boycott the Premier League’s Rainbow Laces campaign.
Aboutrika, 43, said homosexuality was not “compatible” with Islam live on beIN Sports, which broadcasts Premier League matches live in the Middle East and North Africa.
“This phenomenon is not only against Muslim nature, but it is against human nature,” he said. “Allah says in the Quran that we must honor the children of Adam but by doing this homosexuality we are not honoring humans, we are humiliating them.”
Aboutrika added that Muslims “have a role to play” in eliminating homosexuality, which he also described as a “dangerous ideology that becomes nasty”.
“They will tell you that it is a human right but it is not a human right, in fact it is against humanity.”
Aboutrika said Muslim Premier League players should not participate in the campaign, which aims to promote “equality and diversity” by “showing their support for all LGBT + people in football and beyond”, according to the league’s website. Players show their support by wearing rainbow-colored laces in support of the LGBT + community.
athleticism understands that the footage is being reviewed internally by beIN, which on Tuesday decided to distance the company from Aboutrika’s comments.
A beIN spokesperson said: “As a global media group, we represent, advocate and support people, causes and interests of all backgrounds, languages and cultural heritages in 43 extremely diverse countries, as we show each day. ”
A Premier League spokesperson, meanwhile, said Athleticism : “We totally disagree with the expert’s point of view. The Premier League and its clubs are committed to supporting LGBTQ + inclusion and making it clear that football is for everyone. ”
Aboutrika’s comments were criticized on Tuesday by FARE, an anti-discrimination football network.
“So disappointing to see Egyptian legend Mohamed Aboutrika rejecting the Premier League’s Rainbow Laces campaign and using theological positions to do it,” the organization tweeted. “No challenge from beIN Sports. He was given space to deny rights and the existence of a community.
Aboutrika’s criticism of the campaign comes less than a year before the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the first time that FIFA’s biggest tournament will be held in the Middle East.
Aboutrika played 100 times for Egypt between 2001 and 2013.
(Photo: Twitter, @onmtcc)