No public World Cup viewing, says Barcelona in Qatar protest

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona won’t offer public viewing venues to follow Spain’s team during next month’s World Cup in Qatar after its mayor said her city doesn’t support holding the soccer tournament in a “dictatorship.”

Spanish news agency EFE reports that Barcelona mayor Ada Colau rejected a request, by an opposition party during a city hall council session on Friday, to open a public venue for citizens to gather and watch Spain.

Colau said, according to EFE, that her city government would not “dedicate public resources nor public spaces for the viewing of a World Cup that is being held in a dictatorship.”

“It is a mistake to organize a global sports event, which should promote democratic values, peace and human rights, in a dictatorship,” Colau said.

Colau, a leading member of a left-wing party, is a former housing activist who became mayor of Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city, in 2015.

Human rights groups have criticized the choice of Qatar as World Cup host for its treatment of migrant workers and the gay community, among other issues.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press