FIFA President Sepp Blatter's comments about the 2022 World Cup slated for Qatar—the first Arab country ever to be awarded a World Cup bid—are making the rounds today. Specifically, Blatter says that gays "should refrain from any sexual activities" while in the country. Kind of a joke, kind of a warning, which he immediately follows it up with this feel-good nonsensery:
"It's another culture and another religion, but in football we have no boundaries," said Blatter, who was in South Africa for the official closing of the 2010 World Cup. "We open everything to everybody and I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human beings, being on this side or that side, left or right or whatever.
Football may have no boundaries but Qatar has, uh, pretty well defined ones. Aside from gay sex being illegal and punishable by fines, jail time, and "corporal punishment" (read: lashings), straight, unmarried sex is also illegal. (Meanwhile, not having sex—gay or straight—after watching soccer players prance about all day is nearly impossible.)
But the bigger issue for World Cup fans will be access to alcohol—it's not illegal to drink, per se, but you can only drink at licensed hotels, restaurants, or in your home. If you want to buy bottles of booze yourself, you have to visit one of two liquor stores (in the entire country) and present them with an alcohol permit. To get an alcohol permit, you need a letter from your employer stating (among other things) your job title, salary, and your marital status. Once you get your booze, you must hide it in your car and transport it home immediately. Drinking in public is illegal and being drunk in public is illegal.
How the hell are Qatar police going to enforce their freakishly severe alcohol laws?