Barcelona won’t offer public viewing venues to watch Spain’s games 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.
Paris and other French cities have also said they won't put up screens to follow the games.
Amidst backlash, Qatar to host future tournaments
Qatar was awarded the rights to host the 2023 Asian Cup by the Asian Football Confederation
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
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.