BBC Apologizes After Reporter's Question to Soccer Player

Journalist asked Moroccan captain if there are gay players on her team
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
BBC Apologizes After Reporter's Question to Soccer Player
Morocco's Ghizlane Chebbak in action during the Women's World Cup Group H soccer match between Germany and Morocco in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, July 24, 2023.   (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

The BBC has apologized after one of its reporters asked the captain of Morocco's women's soccer team what many are calling a dangerous question. During a press conference before the team's Women's World Cup opener against Germany, which it went on to lose, Ghizlane Chebbak was asked, "In Morocco, it's illegal to have a gay relationship. Do you have any gay players in your squad and what's life like for them in Morocco?" The moderator quickly stepped in, saying the question was "very political" and that reporters should stick to the topic of football, CNN reports.

Morocco is the first Arab team to play in the Women's World Cup, reports the Times, which is one of the outlets pointing out that the question could put players back in Morocco at risk. Another journalist who was in the room described the Moroccan media as being "audibly dismayed" by the question. After the moderator intervened, the reporter said, "No, it's not political. It's about people, it's got nothing to do with politics. Please let her answer the question." The press conference ended soon after, and the BBC later acknowledged, "We recognize that the question was inappropriate. We had no intention to cause any harm or distress." (More Women's World Cup stories.)

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