Josh Cavallo admits he would be 'scared' to play at Qatar World Cup 6 months ago

Josh Cavallo admits he would be 'scared' to play at Qatar World Cup

"To know that this is in a country that doesn't support gay people and puts us at risk of our own life, that does scare me."

Australian footballer Josh Cavallo has admitted that he would be 'scared' to play at the the World Cup in Qatar next year.

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The 21-year-old came out as gay last month, becoming the first openly gay top-flight professional male footballer in the world and received endless amounts of support from several high-profile sports stars around the world.

The World Cup, which is to be hosted in Qatar next year, has been met with controversy over human rights issues surrounding the treatment of migrant workers as well as the views on homosexuality, which is considered illegal under Qatari law.

FIFA has come under fire ever since Qatar were first awarded the tournament in 2010 with then-president, Sepp Blatter saying that gay people who wished to travel to the tournament "should refrain from any sexual activities" - something he later apologised for.

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Cavallo admitted that he would fear for his safety if he was to play at the tournament in an interview with the Guardian's Today in Focus podcast.

He said: "I read something along the lines of that [they] give the death penalty for gay people in Qatar, so it's something I'm very scared [of] and wouldn't really want to go to Qatar for that.

"And that saddens me. At the end of the day the World Cup is in Qatar and one of the greatest achievements as a professional footballer is to play for your country, and to know that this is in a country that doesn't support gay people and puts us at risk of our own life, that does scare me and makes me re-evaluate – is my life more important than doing something really good in my career?"

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