The BBC has apologised for a question it termed inappropriate by one of its reporters who asked Moroccan captain Ghizlane Chebbak about homosexuality during a press conference at the ongoing Women’s World Cup.
The Daily Mail reports that the journalist, who reportedly works for the BBC World Service, asked Chebbak on Sunday, “We know that gay marriage is illegal [in your country]. Are there any gay players in the team? And what is it like for them?”
A representative of FIFA was said to have interjected and dismissed the question because it did not relate to football.
“Sorry, this is a very political question, so we’ll just stick to questions relating to football,” the representative said.
Although, before the Fifa representative shut down the journalist, Chebbak brushed off the question and reminded the journalist that they were not there to discuss politics.
Reacting, the Daily Mail said a spokesman for the BBC said the media organisation recognised that the question was inappropriate.
“We had no intention to cause any harm or distress,” the spokesperson added.
It was learnt that some journalists representing media organisations at the conference were shocked by the question.
Citing The Athletic, the Daily Mail said a journalist, Steph Yang, said the question risked the players’ safety.
Yang, in a post on Twitter, wrote, “One reporter here asked directly if there are gay players on the Moroccan squad, given same-sex relationships are illegal in Morocco. From a harm reduction perspective, this is not an appropriate question for a player and would have endangered the players themselves.
“We are obviously going to talk about the intersection of politics and sports at this World Cup, and it’s vital to do so. But we should take care that our questions don’t cause further harm to those impacted by those very politics.”
A survey by GAY TIMES found 37 per cent of heterosexual football fans felt the game was becoming a safer space for players to come out, the Daily Mail reports.
But a third of LGBTQ fans still felt they were not made to feel welcome and accepted at matches.
Written by: EaglesFM