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Katie McCabe: 'It's not a good look for football.' Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Captain

Katie McCabe won't be watching the World Cup and would have turned down trip to Qatar

The tournament kicks off on 20 November.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND women’s national team captain Katie McCabe says she would not have travelled to the upcoming men’s World Cup in Qatar if given the chance and won’t be watching the tournament, but more so due to Ireland’s absence from competing.

Controversy reigns over the tournament which kicks off on 20 November, due to the treatment of migrant workers who have built the infrastructure, the fact that homosexuality is classed a crime in the host nation and other issues.

McCabe, who has skippered the Girls In Green to their first-ever World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next summer, is in a long-term relationship with team-mate Ruesha Littlejohn.

Her Arsenal team-mates, Beth Mead and Lotte Wubben-Moy, have spoken out against the tournament in recent days. England’s Euro 2022 hero Mead told BBC Radio 4 that she will not “be backing or promoting” the Qatar World Cup, while Wubben-Moy revealed to The Guardian today that she has made the “tough” decision not to watch it.

Speaking from Ireland camp in Marbella ahead of next Monday’s international friendly against Morocco, McCabe began: “I won’t have time to watch it, to be honest. We are straight back into Champions League football.

“Look, it’s a fickle thing, isn’t it, what’s going on over there, and the whole background behind it. For me, if Ireland aren’t in it, I don’t really fancy it, so I think I will be giving that one a miss.”

Asked whether it’s simply because Stephen Kenny’s side aren’t competing or if it’s something to do with the host nation, McCabe responded:

“What is going on over there right now, it’s not great. It’s not a good look for football, but the decision has been made. The World Cup will continue and hopefully there won’t be any bad news stories around it, it will just be football played and that will be it.

“For me, I won’t be watching it. Ireland aren’t in it and I will be busy playing Champions League and WSL games.”

The 27-year-old Dubliner backs players, including England captain Harry Kane, wearing rainbow armbands and other initiatives to highlight equality.

“The World Cup is a world stage. Obviously, Harry Kane wearing the rainbow captain’s armband will be massive and I think it will raise visibility within the key issues that are in Qatar right now and I hope other nations do that and take a stand while playing the games.”

She was then asked if she would have gone to Qatar if given the chance. “No, I wouldn’t have went (sic),” was McCabe’s simple response.

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