The tournament, which will kick off this Sunday (20 November), has come under public criticism. In Qatar, 6,500 migrant workers are reported to have died while the stadiums were being built, and homosexuality is illegal.
Licensee at the Chapel Allerton venue Nicola Moxham had not put much thought into broadcasting the World Cup when planning to show it six months ago. However, she then read into Qatar’s record with human rights abuses, which she found “pretty horrific”.
She had listen to customers, who took to social media to ask the pub whether they’d thought about the morality of what they were doing. Moxham cancelled screenings of the event this weekend. “It felt like the right thing to do,” she added.
The West Yorkshire site had planned to broadcast the tournament on a huge projector in the Christmas tent, as well as in their function room and on a separate TV. Breakfast and beer were also included in the £15 ticket price.
However, all 75 tickets that had been sold (out of the 100 available), have been refunded.
While it was too late in the day to up the pub’s festive offering to make up for lost trade, Moxham hoped customers would come to support the pub for its anti-World Cup stance.
The Mustard Pot is not the only pub boycotting the tournament. It’s joined by Chester sites the Liverpool Arms and the Commercial Hotel & Bar, who will not show the World Cup due to concerns about LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar.
The operator of the Liverpool Arms said after “prolonged soul searching,” the Northgate Street pub had decided not to show any matches from the tournament.
In a statement, they said: “As Chester's LGBTQ+ bar, we are deeply concerned about the host nation's lack of LGBTQ+ rights which are well documented.
“We will not promote this event. However, we wish England and Wales every success in the tournament.”
The Commercial Hotel & Bar said it would also boycott the tournament due to country’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws. “We will never support any country nor links with such prejudice and ideas,” it said.