Lotte Wubben-Moy will not watch World Cup due to Qatar’s laws on homosexuality

England and Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy has said she will not watch the men’s World Cup because of Qatar’s laws which make homosexuality punishable by death.

Wubben-Moy said she would support the England men’s team in the tournament, which begins in less than two weeks’ time, but will keep her television turned off amid the controversy surrounding Qatar’s staging of the showpiece event.

“It’s tough,” the 23-year-old said. “As an England team we all have strong values. And a lot of those values aren’t reflected in the way that we see it in Qatar. I think it’s a tough conversation to have and there’s a lot of dialogue around it.

England Women Training Session – St George’s Park – Tuesday May 31
Lotte Wubben-Moy will support England’s men’s team but will not be watching the World Cup on television (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I personally will be supporting the men’s team, but I won’t be watching. I think it’s hard to talk about. But at the end of the day, we’re one team here at England and we know that they have an opportunity to play at a World Cup. It’s hard to look beyond that really.”

Last week, FIFA reportedly wrote to participating nations urging them to “focus on the football” but the Football Association joined nine other national governing bodies from across Europe in responding over the weekend by saying they would advocate for human rights.

And Wubben-Moy believes it is right that sport and politics are not separated.

“Sport is a very strong vehicle for change,” she said. “To underestimate that would be naive, I think. I’ve seen a lot of the players have strong viewpoints and I salute them and I wish them the best in looking to express that throughout this World Cup.

“It’s a World Cup and, for a lot of these players, they might not ever play in a World Cup again, so I can’t comment on them choosing to go because many people would take that same choice as well.

“But I think sport is very strong for change and in any way possible that they can use this opportunity to help bring about change, I think that’s important.”