BBC Apologises For ‘Inappropriate’ Question Posed To Morocco World Cup Captain About Teammates' Sexuality

The reporter asked Morocco’s Ghizlane Chebbak if there were "any gay players in your squad".
Morocco's Women's World Cup captain Ghizlane Chebbak
Morocco's Women's World Cup captain Ghizlane Chebbak

The BBC has apologised after one of its reporters asked Morocco’s women’s football team captain about the sexuality of her teammates during a press conference.

At a media Q&A ahead of Morocco’s first game at the World Cup, which is currently being held in Australia and New Zealand, the BBC World Service journalist said: “In Morocco, it’s illegal to have a gay relationship.”

They then asked captain Ghizlane Chebbak: “Do you have any gay players in your squad and what’s life like for them in Morocco?”

A press conference moderator then replied “Sorry, this is a very political question, so we’ll just stick to questions relating to football” – but the reporter doubled down on their question.

In video footage from the press conference, Ghizlane can be seen grimacing and taking her earpiece out as the moderator responds. She then shakes her head and smiles in disbelief.

“No, it’s not political,” the journalist replied. “It’s about people, it’s got nothing to do with politics. Please let her answer the question.”

In Morocco, same-sex relations can result in a fine or a prison term of up to three years.

Other journalists present at the press conference were quick to condemn the exchange:

The BBC later apologised, with a spokesperson telling CNN: “We recognise that the question was inappropriate. We had no intention to cause any harm or distress.”

Morocco, who are playing in the Women’s World Cup for the first time, lost their first match 6-0 to Germany.

Meanwhile, England fans are cheering on the Lionesses who hope to build on their Euro 2022 success by being named world champions – though the US are favourites to win the competition.


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