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Journalists pose as gay couple, try to book hotel in Qatar ahead of World Cup

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Sweden and Norway have highlighted the fact anti-gay attitudes persist in Qatar, despite authorities there claiming everyone is welcome to attend the upcoming soccer World Cup.Soccer’s ruling body, FIFA, has said that everyone should feel safe visiting Qatar for the tournament, even though homosexuality is illegal and punishable with up to seven years in jail.FIFA has produced a list of 69 recommended hotels.

The journalists called or emailed them and pretended to be a newly-wed same-sex couple from Sweden or Norway seeking accommodation for a honeymoon.

It’s currently not possible to buy a ticket for the World Cup without a valid match ticket, so they used the honeymoon ruse instead.Related: David Beckham signs on to be the face of Qatar, where being gay is punishable by deathThirty-three of the hotels accepted the booking with no objections.Three hotels refused to accept the reservation: The Torch Doha, Magnum Hotel & Suites Westbay, and Wyndham Grand Regency.Two of them, the Torch Doha and Magnum Hotel, specifically said it was against their policies to take gay couples.

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