Several staff at the Football Association of Wales are set to boycott the FIFA World Cup over gay rights ©Getty Images

Several members of staff for Wales' national football team will not travel to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year because of the country's stance on gay rights.

Football Association of Wales chief executive Noel Mooney claimed the team would use the event as a platform to discuss human rights in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

Mooney is also asking FIFA and UEFA to "think very deeply about their conscience" when choosing future hosts event hosts - although Qatari officials have insisted it will be a "tournament for everyone".

"They're not going to go to the tournament, which is absolutely their right to do so," Mooney said in an interview with BBC Wales, referring to unidentified staff members. 

"The vast, vast majority of people will go and understand also our position that it is a platform to try to improve life there and to have good dialogue on issues like human rights... and migrant workers.

"So, we're looking forward to playing a full part in that and getting clarity on any outstanding issues for travelling supporters."

Wales qualified for their first men's World Cup since 1958 after beating Ukraine 1-0 in a playoff last week.

The decision by FIFA to host the tournament in Qatar has faced heavy criticism, with the country's record on human rights under scrutiny, the event moved from its traditional timeslot to avoid the worst heat of the Qatari summer and accusations of vote-buying rife.

Only one member of the FIFA Council which awarded Qatar hosting rights in late 2010, Egyptian Hany Abo Rida, remains on the panel and multiple officials were subsequently banned from football for ethics breaches or have faced criminal charges.

Noel Mooney said Wales will use the World Cup in Qatar as a platform to discuss human rights ©Getty Images
Noel Mooney said Wales will use the World Cup in Qatar as a platform to discuss human rights ©Getty Images

As of February 2021, 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since it was awarded the World Cup, with 37 of these deaths being directly linked to the construction of the stadiums by campaigners.

At the same time Qatar was awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Russia won the right to stage the 2018 edition. 

Mooney was also critical of this decision.

"We have had a World Cup in Russia in 2018 which was a massive PR success," Mooney told BBC Wales.

"I think anybody who left the World Cup would say it was a great success for Russia.

"We've seen what has happened since [with Russia's invasion of Ukraine].

"There are concerns, certainly I have them, on how sport is being used as a façade, maybe, for something else.

"So, I think that the rights-holders, the big global sports institutions like the Olympics, FIFA, UEFA and bodies like that, really have to think strategically and they have to think very deeply about their conscience."