News Article

World Cup 2022

A statement from the SU President on showing the World Cup matches on campus.

The World Cup 2022 is being held in Qatar. We, as a Students’ Union realise the implications this may have for students at ARU due to concerns surrounding certain policies such as LGBTQ+ rights, and Workers’ rights.

The Students’ Union does not condone hate crimes or violence towards marginalised groups of any kind, and believes in equality and diversity, championing the diversity of our students and their communities. We know that football is a game loved by millions of people around the world and here in Cambridge & Chelmsford. We believe that football has the power to bring people together, and so we want to share our love of the beautiful game with you in spaces that are as safe and inclusive as possible.

To show solidarity with students affected by this, we will be raising money for associated charities at World Cup games we are showing. Each and every penny we raise will be donated to charities, so they continue their fantastic causes of supporting human rights and ensuring a safer and more inclusive community for all.

We always strive to make our spaces inclusive and welcoming for all ARU students, but if there is something we could do better, please let us know. You can contact one of our officers via the links below, or send a message to our 92 team who will be happy to help.

Shankar - President

Akshay - VP AHSS

Nithin-Raj - VP B&L

Rahman - VP S&E

Rohit - VP HEMS

Sharmeen - VP Healthcare

92 Team


Akshay Kumbalath
1:25pm on 25 Nov 22 As a Students’ Union, we represent a diverse body of students at ARU, from various different communities and countries, who will all have differing opinions on the screening. It is important that we consider the voices of all students, having received a wealth of feedback from different groups within the student body such as the LGBTQ+ society, Islamic society, students from Qatar, and others. As mentioned in our statement, we do not condone hate crimes or violence towards marginalised groups of any kind, and believe in equality and diversity, championing the diversity of our students and their communities. Our intention behind the screening is to provide a safe and inclusive space for watching football, a game loved by millions of people around the world. In doing so, we hope to bring the student body together and increase the sense of community on both campuses. It deeply saddens us that there are hate crimes and violence of such nature taking place. We condemn such actions and would like to clarify that screening the World Cup is not synonymous with supporting such hate crimes. If anything, screening also gives us the opportunity to educate and raise awareness, aside from providing a safe space to watch the football. We are not associated with local pubs in any way and any decision we make will be independent of what they do as we represent a diverse student body at ARU. We are not screening the World Cup for any monetary gain and are instead, collecting donations for two human rights charities: Human Dignity Trust (LGBTQ+ rights) and Amnesty International (Human Rights), both of which do fantastic work. The decision to screen the World Cup was made after very careful consideration. As always, if there is anything we can improve, please do not hesitate to let us know!
Roger Joseph
12:40am on 22 Nov 22 As nice of a gesture as this is, to raise money and donate it. It really doesn't mean much as you're still showing the world cup - and thus you're still supporting and aligning yourself with a system that doesn't accept queer folk. With the laws that make homosexuality illegal - where queer Qataris face physical violence from the government and society, are sentenced to jail for up to seven years, forced through conversion therapy, and even made to help their own government seek out other queer people. Their laws even allow queer Muslim individuals to be stoned to death for simply being attracted to someone of the same sex. How can we, in any form, show our support? Especially knowing the amount of violence and harm against queer people in Qatar? In addition, Fifa refuses players to wear the LGBT armband during matches, the UK government pushing back the conversion therapy ban, and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly making ignorant comments telling people to "be respectful" of their homophobic laws. And not forgetting the very recent shooting at Club Q in America, where five individuals lost their lives - including a transman, mere hours before Transgender day of remembrance. And the constant torrent of hate that's being spewed in the media. It shouldn't be a surprise that LGBT+ hate crimes have increased. From 2021 to 2022, there has been an increase of 41% of reported hate crimes against those due to their sexual orientation, and an increase of 56% against those in the trans community. These are the most recent statistics as of 02/11/2022. So to support and stand with a country that hates LGBT+ individuals so much, and to support FIFA in their decision in all of this. Is in no way supporting queer individuals - no matter how much money is raised. At the end of the day, there is no *valid* reason to show this. As Paige pointed out, local bars are refusing to air this as they want to show their support - even though a sporting event is a huge money maker for them. So what reason does SU have to show this? It all comes down to what message the SU really wants to put out there.
Paige Palframan
1:14pm on 21 Nov 22 Possibly refraining from showing the world cup in general? There has been nothing but negativity in the news, even in regards to majority communities such as the cis het population and the tourist population in general - not to mention the already protested LGBTQ+ community that you stand so rightly for…. Right? Even local bars are refusing to show it, what makes our beliefs so superior?
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