BBC Forced to Apologise for ‘Inappropriate’ Question at Women’s World Cup to Morocco’s Captain After Reporter Asks What Life Was Like for Her ‘Gay Players’ in Strict Anti-LGBT Country

The BBC has been forced to apologise after a reporter asked a player at the Women’s World Cup an ‘inappropriate’ question about homosexuality at a press conference.

The journalist, who reportedly works for the BBC World Service, asked Morocco captain Ghizlane 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 Fifa representative shut down the question, assessing it could have ‘endangered’ players.

‘Sorry, this is a very political question, so we’ll just stick to questions relating to football,’ they said.

A BBC spokesman has since said: ‘We recognise that the question was inappropriate. We had no intention to cause any harm or distress.’

Chebbak brushed off the question before a Fifa moderator shut down the reporter. The rep reminded the journalist that they were not there to discuss politics.

Moroccan media in attendance were audibly shocked at the question, according to The Athletic, with journalist Steph Yang saying it risked the players’ safety.

‘One reporter here asked directly if there are gay players on the Moroccan squad, given same-sex relationships are illegal in Morocco,’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘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.’

Shireen Ahmed, a Muslim CBC journalist from Canada, also took exception to the line of questioning. ‘The reporter was completely out of line. Harm reduction matters and posing the question to the captain or coach was unnecessary. The question was waved off by a Fifa media officer moderating but it shouldn’t have been asked,’ she commented.

Morocco, which is almost exclusively Muslim, is the first Arab country to ever qualify for the tournament.


The Mail

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