Tottenham Hotspur’s LGBTQ+ supporters’ group has called for FIFA to urgently “reform itself” after it opposed players protesting against discrimination.

Proud Lilywhites supporters’ group co-chair Chris Paouros criticised football’s governing body for not sticking to the values it claims to stand for.

The comments come following FIFA’s decision to penalise players who wear the ‘One Love’ anti-discrimination armband on the pitch at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

England captain and Spurs striker Harry Kane had been set to wear the armband until the decision was announced.  

The Gulf state’s treatment of the LGBTQ+ community and migrant workers has been heavily criticised in the lead-up to the biggest event in men’s football.  

Ms Paouros said: “We can’t change the regime in Qatar, but we can change the governing body that allows this to happen, so FIFA needs to reform itself.

“Of course I would have liked the players to say – I don’t care, I’m going to wear the ‘One Love’ armbands anyway. But really it’s FIFA who needs to answer to this, not anybody else.

“Here we are with an empty ‘everyone is welcome’ message, but you can just see from what’s happened in the last few days that this isn't the case.”

Article 3 of FIFA’s statute states that “discrimination of any kind…is strictly prohibited”.

To support the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar, the Proud Lilywhites are fundraising for the Alwan Foundation, which advocates for gay rights in the Gulf region.

They will be raffling off a Tottenham Hotspur 21/22 shirt that features rainbow lettering and has been signed by both the men’s and women’s team captains.  

Ms Paouros added: “We thought that actually the best thing we could do is to think about our LGBTQ+ siblings in Qatar and raise money for the Alwan Foundation. Because we’re also really clear that this isn’t a clash of Eastern and Western values, it’s about FIFA not sticking to its own values.”

Other Premier League LGBTQ+ supporters’ groups have also taken a stand against the treatment of the gay community in Qatar.

Arsenal’s GayGooners group protested in front of the Qatar embassy in London on Saturday (November 19), on the eve of the opening World Cup match.

To enter the Proud Lilywhites’ raffle for the Alwan Foundation click here.