Alex Scott Was 'Scared To Leave Qatar Hotel' After Taking A Stand On LGBTQ+ Rights At World Cup

The BBC sports presenter has said she still receives abuse about her decision to wear the One Love armband.
Alex Scott at the 2022 World Cup
Alex Scott at the 2022 World Cup

BBC presenter Alex Scott has recalled how she was left too scared to leave her Qatar hotel after wearing the One Love armband during the World Cup in 2022.

Alex wore the armband in support of the LGBTQ+ community while broadcasting for the BBC from the Middle Eastern country, where same-sex relationships are illegal and an imprisonable offence.

The armbands, intended “to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind”, became a hot topic of conversation in the run-up to last winter’s World Cup with football association FIFA ultimately banning players from wearing them.

During an interview at the GQ Heroes event, Alex recalled how she felt after wearing the armband on screen for the first time.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star told journalist Musa Okwonga: “[Afterwards] I went into hiding in Qatar. I was scared to leave the hotel; my only escape was the gym upstairs. I remember walking in and one of the cleaners said, ‘We see and thank you so much’.”

Alex added that the exchange made her realise the abuse she faced due to the situation was “worth it for that”.

The star, whose own footballing career saw her play for Arsenal and England, was also asked how the backlash to her decision played out in the months that followed.

“I wouldn’t say the next few months, I still feel like it’s ongoing,” she admitted. “After Qatar, I had to disappear.

“I disappeared somewhere nice, I did go to Barbados! But I was like ‘I need to get away, I just need to be on an island and escape life.’

“And that’s the cost because the abuse [...] the hate, the death threats [is the cost].”

While Alex continues to face abuse online, thousands of World Cup viewers praised her for taking a stand while players were forbidden from doing so.

“Action speaks louder than words. No protest in history ever needed permission. Massive respect to Alex Scott for donning the OneLove armband despite multiple national team U-turns,” one fan wrote on social media at the time.


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