Response to the Qatar World Cup
Earlier this year the American Outlaws were approached by the Qatari World Cup organizers with an offer to visit the country and participate in their fan advisory council. As an independent soccer supporters' group we declined that invitation. We aim to always remain above these sorts of arrangements and do not have anyone from the AO National Board being paid by the World Cup organizers to attend the World Cup. We are encouraging all Americans to decline these arrangements.
AO and AO Impact have not taken money or perks from FIFA (or Qatar) and will never do so.
One of our AO National Board members, who also is a member of the USSF Fan Council, traveled to Qatar on behalf of the USSF Fan Council earlier this year. From our conversations with them, we understand that they refused any additional offers of travel or compensation and that work was tied to the USSF Fan Council. They have publicly acknowledged this.
From the start, we expressed our disappointment in the selection of Qatar as the host nation of the World Cup, from human rights abuses, worker conditions, to LGBTQIA+ and women's rights. We believe all fans should have the ability and agency to speak freely.
Difficulties with the World Cup have been compounded by the fact that organizers of this World Cup have made it extremely difficult for groups like AO to help fans get to the World Cup, feel safe and welcome, or host events on their terms. As such the organization is not hosting stand alone events in Qatar as we hope to next year in New Zealand and Australia.
We will be reviewing this situation with an intent to find reform, including revising our Board and member code of conduct to address conflicts of interest and other actions that may put our independence and member confidence at risk.
November 03, 2022