Speaking to LBC earlier today, Cleverly said fans travelling from England and Wales would need to be “respectful of the host nation” of Qatar, where same-sex activity is illegal. He added: “There should be flex and compromise at both ends.”
Separately, speaking to Sky News, Cleverly reiterated his message on how the government would support LGBT rights and equality in Qatar.
“These are Muslim countries, they have very different cultural starting point for us. I think it’s important when you’re a visitor to a country that you respect the culture of your host nation,” he said.
Labour called Mr Cleverly’s remarks “shockingly tone-deaf.”
The decision to host the World Cup in Qatar has attracted widespread criticism over the country’s human rights record, including on LGBT rights.
Both England and Wales have qualified for the tournament, ensuring they will play at least three games each, including one against each other.
Some politicians, including the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, said they would not attend the tournament due to Qatar’s human rights record. Fellow Labour politician, and Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, is still expected to attend the tournament.
Cleverly is expected to attend, adding the UK has “incredibly important partners in the Middle East.”