Monday 28 November 2022 05:47 PM Tony Blair tells LGBT campaigners not to 'disrespect' World Cup hosts Qatar trends now
The tiny Gulf nation has been the subject of protests and criticism around the tournament due to its refusal to accept LGBT rights.
But former Labour leader Mr Blair, who welcomed the former emir Sheikh Hamed Bin Khalifa Al Thani to Downing Street in 2006, warned the protests were 'not sensible'.
Speaking to LBC's News Agents podcast he said that the repressive state was a UK ally which invested a lot of money in Britain.
He also pointed out that when England hosted the World Cup in 1966, homosexuality was still illegal in Britain.
His comments were criticised by Amnesty International's UK chief executive Sacha Deshmukh saying: 'Qatar's anti-LGBTQ+ laws are absolutely indefensible and there was never any conceivable way that Qatar would be able to host the World Cup without this being pointed out time and time again.
'Instead of harking back to 1966 and the completely different world of 56 years ago, Tony Blair should be standing up for present-day LGBTQ+ Qataris who are being denied their freedom and their basic rights.
Former prime minister Tony Blair sparked fury today by telling gay rights campaigners not to 'disrespect' World Cup hosts Qatar.
England's football team had been planning to wear the LGBTQ+ armband along with other European teams such as Germany and Denmark before the campaign was dropped when FIFA