Photo Cred: William West/AFP/Getty Images
An unnamed male reporter for BBC, in the pregame press conference for the Germany v Morocco game on Monday, July 25, asked a question about LGBTQ players to the Morocco Captain and Coach, which has been labeled as “inappropriate and unethical.”
The reporter asked “In Morocco it’s illegal to have a gay relationship. Do you have any gay players in your squad, and what’s life like for them in Morocco?”
The FIFA media representative warned the journalist: "Sorry this is a very political question so we will just stick to questions related to football please.”
Morocco captain Ghizlane Chebbak’s almost in disbelief reaction to the question, says it all.
A completely unethical out of line question that poses safety concerns to the players he asking to be named.
Bizarre push followed.
— SHE scores bangers (@SHEscoresbanger) July 24, 2023
But the reporter persisted and said: "No, no, it's not political, it's about people, it's nothing to do with politics, please let her answer."
Acts between members of the same sex, referred to as “sexual deviancy” is illegal under Morocco law and are punishable with up to three years in prison
Journalist, Steph Yang, a reporter for the Athletic that was present at the conference, said, “From a harm reduction perspective, this is not an appropriate question for a player and would have endangered the players themselves,” said Yang.
BBC released a statement following the incident saying “We recognise that the question was inappropriate. We had no intention to cause any harm or distress," however many critics hit out that due to the political nature of Morocco on Gay Rights, the question was "completely out of line" and "poses safety concerns" to the players.