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Kansas City-area World Cup fans voice frustration with Qatar, FIFA

Team USA fans flock Johnny's Tavern ahead of World Cup match against Wales
Posted at 7:30 AM, Nov 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-22 09:20:32-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The World Cup is back and fans in the Kansas City area flocked to the Power and Light District on Monday to cheer on Team USA following an eight-year hiatus.

However, controversy continues over Qatar being named host city, with human rights groups accusing the country of being responsible for the injury and death of thousands.

Local soccer fans say they're frustrated this year's World Cup is taking place in a country where same-sex relationships are illegal, with a punishment of up to three years in prison.

“I think I will continue to watch the games but (I'm) very disappointed with how many people had to die and sacrifice for the World Cup to take place in Qatar,” said Tricia Proctor.

It’s been days since a gunman opened fire at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ club and fans say the situation is top of mind and hope FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, does better.

“FIFA is corrupt (and) it's a shame,” said Ryan Michael.

FIFA has deflected questions about the alleged human rights violations in Qatar. Qatari officials have previously said they are "committed to engaging collaboratively and constructively to further improve standards for all migrant workers in Qatar.”

American Outlaws, the unofficial US Soccer Team support group, is also vocal about their frustrations with FIFA but is not letting their selection stop them from cheering on the red, white and blue.

"We don't support a lot of what FIFA says and does and what they stand for," said Pete Kalwei with American Outlaws. "We certainly do not support it being in Qatar, but we have a lot of people here who haven't been able to get together for this friends strangers, we're all gonna be here to share on the team and the players as much as we don't like what's going on over there,"