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 v Luxembourg – 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying – Group D – Stoke City Stadium
Lotte Wubben-Moy (left) will support England’s men’s team but will not be watching the World Cup on television (Martin Rickett/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.”

Wubben-Moy’s England team-mate Alex Greenwood agreed that sport should be used to advocate for change.

“Obviously we can’t choose where the World Cup is happening but we have to try to change the negative to a positive,” the Manchester City defender said.

England v United States – Women’s International Friendly – Wembley Stadium
Alex Greenwood says England’s players will continue to talk openly about women having equal rights (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“We can speak about the things we can highlight and what we believe in as a country, and that’s for all women to have equal rights. That’s something we will talk about openly and I’m sure the men will do the same.”

Both players were speaking before jetting out to Spain on Monday afternoon ahead of friendlies against Japan and Norway this weekend.

Greenwood said the squad were keen to use the fixtures to end a year highlighted by Euro 2022 glory on the right note.

“It’s been an incredible year for women’s football and women’s sport,” she said. “For us it feels like the year’s gone really quickly but also really slow at the same time.

“Obviously we still reflect on the summer and talk about it and it puts a smile on faces. It would be good to end the year on a positive note. We’ve got so much to look back on and be proud of.”