Molly McCann has no interest in watching the upcoming 2022 World Cup.
The UFC flyweight star revealed that she plans to boycott the event due to the well-documented human rights concerns facing host nation Qatar.
“I’m not bothered about that,” McCann said when asked by a reporter if “football was coming home” during the UFC 281 pre-fight media day. “I’m not feeling the Qatar vibes and all the human rights that haven’t gone down there. I won’t even be watching it.”
McCann, who is scheduled to face Erin Blanchfield on the UFC 281 preliminary card, used to play football as a teenager before choosing to become a professional fighter. She tried her hand at boxing before eventually turning to MMA, where she is now the no. 15 ranked flyweight in the UFC.
McCann is also an openly gay woman and is likely aware that this year’s World Cup is set to take place in a country where homosexuality remains outlawed. Qatar’s own World Cup ambassador and former national team player Khalid Salman referred to homosexuality as “damage in the mind” in an interview less than two weeks before the opening of the soccer tournament in the Gulf state, furthering concerns about the conservative country’s treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.
More than a million international visitors are expected to descend upon Qatar for the tournament, which has also faced a deluge of criticism for the country’s treatment of foreign workers. According to The Guardian, more than 6,5000 migrants have died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded in 2010.
Despite the concerns, Germany’s interior minister Nancy Faeser Faeser revealed that the Qatar’s prime minister had given her a “safety guarantee” for fans “no matter where they come from, whom they love and what they believe in.”
The World Cup is scheduled to begin on Sunday, Nov. 20.
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