Sports commentator and retired Egyptian footballer Mohamed Aboutrika said that Arab and Muslim soccer players must not participate in Rainbow Laces, a campaign to promote LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports. His remarks, made on a show that aired on BeIn Sports TV (Qatar) on November 27, 2021, went viral and were posted on many YouTube accounts, including Mazajsports – a Jordanian YouTube sports account. Aboutrika said that the "worst punishment in history," according to the Quran, was that of the people of Sodom. He added that homosexuality is not about human rights because "it goes against humanity." He went on to say that some people suggest that during the 2022 Qatar World Cup, alcohol and homosexuality should be permitted, but that just as Arabs and Muslims respect laws abroad, foreigners will have to respect the laws and traditions of Qatar when they come to the World Cup. Aboutrika, who is now living in exile in Qatar, was added to the Egyptian terror list in 2017, due to ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. For more information, see MEMRITV clip no 8391.
Mohamed Aboutrika: "I was watching the Leeds game. My daughter was next to me: and she asked me what the colors of the players' laces meant. Since soccer enters every home, you must explain and tell the truth. Obviously, dealing with this phenomenon of homosexuality requires the upbringing and education of the younger generation. True, we are talking about the strongest league in the world, but some phenomena are not compatible with our faith. These phenomena are not compatible with our religion. The worst punishment in history, which was mentioned in the Quran, was the punishment for the people of Sodom. 'Then We caused the earth to swallow him up' and also 'We turned the cities upside down.'
Journalist: "So you think that the Muslim players in the Premier League should not cooperate with what is happening."
Aboutrika: "True. This is the role of the Arab and Muslim players, as well as of the ulema and the sheikhs, because this phenomenon has infiltrated our society. This phenomenon is against the nature of Islam and of Mankind. Our Lord says: 'We have honored the children of Adam.' This phenomenon does not honor them. It humiliates them.
"Don't let people tell you this is about human rights. It is not. This goes against humanity. Our Lord and the religions honor you and then you go and humiliate yourself? They tell you it's about freedom and human rights. It is not.
"We support positive gestures, like 'No to Racism,' but we must confront phenomena that are not compatible with our religion and our customs. People say that in the 2022 World Cup that will be held here [in Qatar], you should permit alcohol and homosexuality. No, man. You are coming to an Islamic country. They must respect our customs and traditions. Just like we respect their laws, customs, and traditions, when we go there, they must respect the laws, customs, and traditions of this Arab and Islamic country when they come here."