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FIFA communications director comes out as gay amid Qatar controversy

FIFA’s Director of Media Relations, Bryan Swanson revealed that he is gay right on stage at the press conference of FIFA President Gianni Infantino on the eve of the World Cup opening ceremony.

Infantino and FIFA as an organisation has been heavily under fire for allowing the 2022 World Cup to be hosted in Qatar, a nation that has a human rights record that is questionable at best. Apart from the ill treatment of women and migrant workers, the LGBTQ+ community is often targeted in Qatar. Same-sex relationships are criminalised in the the small Middle-Eastern nation, and this has been a major topic of discussion leading up to the event.

Many fans, players and other members of the football community have been raising concerns about the safety of those travelling to Qatar especially if they are openly gay. Infantino has been criticised over the situation, and now Swanson has come to the defence of the president.

“I have spent some time at Gianni’s side working alongside Infantino and I have always felt supported and helped, I am gay as are many other colleagues at FIFA and I have always felt supported,” he said while onstage at the press conference which was held ahead of the World Cup opening ceremony.

Swanson went on to make it clear that his intention is to let the world know that contrary to the criticism, Infantino is in fact very supportive of gay colleagues. “I am sitting here in a privileged position on a global stage as a gay man here in Qatar. Just because Gianni Infantino is not gay, does not mean he does not care. He does care.”

Swanson is a well-known journalist who had a long career with SkySports before eventually working for FIFA.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – FIFA President Press Conference


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