Japan Football Association President Sidelines Rights Issues in Qatar

As the FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar this week, Kohzo Tashima, the president of the Japan Football Association (JFA), told journalists it was “unfavorable that topics other than soccer are being raised at this point.” Echoing FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s comments to “focus on the football” rather than human rights issues, Tashima was responding to questions about how he viewed European teams’ – including France, Germany, and England – protests against the Qatar government’s discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.


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We call on Japan’s government to introduce and enact legislation to protect LGBT people from discrimination before the Olympics. It’s time for an Equality Act – and the countdown starts now. 

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