Record number of openly queer players in Women’s World Cup

Sam Kerr and partner Kristie Mewis
Image: Instagram

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will reportedly have a new record number of openly queer athletes competing in the FIFA tournament.

In a week, our national team the Matildas will play in the tournament, which this year is in Australia and New Zealand. It kicks off July 20.

Superstar Matildas captain Sam Kerr (pictured), Australia’s greatest ever goalscorer, is in a relationship with American soccer player Kristie Mewis.

Kerr is among the 88 openly LGBTQIA+ athletes in the Women’s World Cup, according to LGBTQIA+ sports website Outsports.

That number is more than double the 40 openly gay, lesbian and bisexual women Outsports found were competing last time, in 2019.

Most of the out athletes are from North and South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the website reports.

According to the numbers, over two-thirds of teams in the tournament have openly LGBTQIA+ players.

Read also: Sam Kerr reacts to FIFA pride armband ban

But in the men’s competition, it’s a very different story.

There were no openly queer players who competed in the men’s World Cup last November, Outsports reported at the time.

FIFA has come under fire for giving hosting rights to countries with homophobic laws.

Russia hosted the Men’s World Cup in 2018, and in 2022 it was in anti-gay Qatar.

Read next: Socceroos call out World Cup host Qatar’s anti-gay laws

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