Sports

Robbie Rogers Blasts FIFA Over Anti-Gay World Cup Sites

Though Robbie Rogers hasn't appeared for the U.S. national soccer team since 2011, the Los Angeles Galaxy defender, as an openly gay athlete, has a unique perspective on the host countries for the next two World Cups: Russia and Qatar. Both countries have notoriously negative views of LGBT citizens.

Qatar's track record on LGBT issues is alarming, to say the least, as gay sex is illegal in the country. Russia, without technically outlawing homosexuality, has enacted measures to curb ads and public pro-gay statements within the country.

In a HuffPost Live interview Tuesday, Rogers had harsh words for FIFA.

"I don't understand what FIFA is thinking doing things like that," Rogers told host Alyona Minkovski. "I think there's a large issue with FIFA with insensitivities with people in general."

Anti-gay laws are not the only things people have pointed to in complaining about FIFA's choice of Qatar as host for the 2022 of late. More than 1,000 migrant workers have reportedly died while building venues in the country, which has been accused of making shady, back-room deals in order to host the event in the first place.

Rogers also pointed out that the Women's World Cup, set for next summer in Canada, will be played on artificial turf, something many in soccer circles have decried. Rogers said there's "no way" a men's World Cup would be played on any form of artificial turf.

"Sexism, racism, homophobia -- [FIFA] is an organization that's ... running soccer for the world," Rogers said. "It's insane to me that they would put a tournament somewhere where someone would be in danger."

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Military Police block anti-World Cup protestors attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Anti-World Cup protestors gather while attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Anti-World Cup protestors gather while attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The protestors were eventually blocked by police before reaching the stadium.
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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 15: Military Police block anti-World Cup protestors attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Today is the fourth day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Riot police are deployed during a demonstration against the FIFA World Cup near the Maracana stadium, in Rio de Janeiro on June 15, 2014.
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A tourist is assisted after being injured during a protest against the FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro near the Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014.
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Tear gas clouds are seen during a demonstration against the FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro near the Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014.
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Military Police block anti-World Cup protestors attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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A woman is seen through a broken windowpane at a branch after a protest against the FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro near the Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014.
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Anti-World Cup protestors gather while attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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A woman is seen at a cash dispenser inside a branch whose floor is covered by broken glass from the windowdpanes after a protest against the FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro near the Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014.
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A man who identified himself as a police officer fired shots to the air near a protest against the FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro nearby Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014.
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A man who identified himself as a police officer fired shots to the air near a protest against the FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro nearby Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014.
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Military Police block anti-World Cup protestors attempting to march to Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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An injured tourist is seen after being assisted during a protest against the FIFA World Cup, in Rio de Janeiro near the Maracana stadium on June 15, 2014.