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U.S. Soccer Reveals Rainbow-Themed Press Room at Qatar World Cup

The U.S. men’s national team unveiled its press room ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, and the team is choosing to outwardly support the LGBTQ community with its design, which features the U.S. Soccer crest in rainbow colors.

“When we’re on the global stage, and when we’re in a venue like Qatar, it’s important to highlight these issues, and that’s what ‘Be the Change’ is about,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said, via Reuters. “Not only in the United States, we want to highlight social issues but also abroad. We recognize that Qatar has made progress, and a lot of progress has been made, but there is still work to be done.”

The USMNT decided to use this rainbow design in Qatar, where homosexuality is a criminal offense. The host country also has a long history of human rights violations, with specific criticism in regard to Qatar’s treatment of low-paid migrant workers.

“Our rainbow badge plays an important and consistent role in U.S. Soccer’s identity,” U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said in an email to Reuters. “As part of our approach to every match or event, we include rainbow branding to support and embrace the LGBTQ community, and to promote a spirit of inclusion and welcome for all fans around the world.

“As a result, venues that we will manage and operate during the FIFA World Cup, such as the team hotel, media rooms and parties, will feature both traditional and rainbow U.S. Soccer branding.”

The World Cup begins Sunday and runs through Dec. 18.

Editors’ note, Nov. 14 at 4:57 p.m. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the USMNT would be wearing rainbow badges on their kits during the World Cup in Qatar. It has been updated to clarify that the team will not be wearing them.

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