Paddy Power donating £10,000 to LGBT charities every time Russia score

The World Cup has started! It is such an exciting month and I am looking forward to my feast of football. However, this year the tournament is being hosted in Russia, who are a notoriously and openly homophobic country.

Whilst not illegal to be gay, there are no legal protections in place to prevent discrimination. The country has frequently cracked down on LGBT activity, saying that it is promoting homosexuality to minors. This has meant that fears have spiked about the safety of fans going to the World Cup, even despite the world’s media turning towards Russia.

Bookmakers Paddy Power have put a lighthearted spin on the controversy with a stunt as the World Cup has started. They are going to donate £10,000 to LGBT charities every time Russia score.

The company are working with Attitude Magazine’s Foundation to distribute the money to challenge prejudice, support players to come out, fund education programmes and make the sports inclusive at a grassroots level.

They have promised that they will give out a minimum of £50,000. However, with the first match of the tournament securing Russia five goals, they are likely to going to be paying much more, which is great news for underfunded LGBT community groups.

Paddy Power has some history supporting LGBT rights, founding with Stonewall the Rainbow Laces campaign. We know they are doing this in part to promote their business at a time when lots of people are sinking their cash in World Cup bets. But money and public support for gay rights in Russia is still much appreciated.

The tournament has just started and already we are seeing dangerous levels of violence against vulnerable LGBT people. Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell was arrested in Moscow for protesting against the government’s failure to crack down on the torture of gay people in Chechnya.

A French gay couple have also been hospitalised after a brutal attack in St Petersburg.

Just think about the fear felt by players who are LGBT. Footballers have a terrible track record of being open about their sexuality because of the intense scrutiny. To play in a country with this track record must be truly frightening.

So Paddy Power’s stunt is a fun spin on some serious issues. Who thought LGBT football fans would be cheering on the host nation to score as many goals as possible? From Russia, with equal love.
Paddy Power donating £10,000 to LGBT charities every time Russia score Paddy Power donating £10,000 to LGBT charities every time Russia score Reviewed by Ciaran McCormick on 19:19 Rating: 5


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