An experiment could expand into extensive damage to the image of the upcoming host of the soccer World Cup. Because Qatar apparently still has a big problem with the recognition of gay and lesbian relationships.

As research by three Scandinavian TV stations shows, homosexual guests are not welcome in some of the official hotels for the World Cup, which starts on November 21st.

In the experiment by Norwegian broadcaster NRK together with Danish broadcaster DR and SVT from Sweden, two journalists posed as a newly married gay couple who wanted to spend their honeymoon in Qatar. They asked the World Cup accommodations for a room. According to the media authorities, 56 of the 69 hotels recommended by FIFA responded.

Three of them said quite openly that the gay couple could not book a room in their hotels. It is said to be the “Torch Doha”, the “Magnum Hotel

20 other accommodations said that there were reservations and that guests were not allowed to openly show themselves as a homosexual couple during their stay. “If you put on makeup and dress gay, it’s against the policy of the country and the government. But for our hotel it’s fine if you dress appropriately and don’t engage in sexual behavior or kissing in public,” wrote one World Cup hotel. 33 accommodations stated that there were no objections to the homosexual couple from Sweden booking a room.

The journalists from Scandinavia confronted Fifa with the results of their investigation. “Fifa is confident that all necessary measures will be taken to ensure that LGBTQI fans and others enjoy the tournament in a welcoming and safe manner can”, the broadcasters quote the statement of the world association for research.

Homosexuality is officially forbidden in Qatar and can be punished with up to seven years in prison. Islamic law even allows flogging and the death penalty.