Does the footballing world really care about kicking homophobia out?

Updated 0742 GMT (1542 HKT) October 6, 2021

(CNN)There are just a handful of top level men's football players in the world that have come out and have felt able to be open about their sexuality. Few have done so while still playing.

But it's not just football stars who worry about acceptance within their world -- it's fans, too.
If Wales qualify for the 2022 World Cup, it will be a dream come true for James Brinning.
As a longstanding fan of the national team, Brinning would like nothing more than to see Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and company make it to international football's biggest tournament.
But if The Dragons do find themselves on the world stage next year, for the first time in more than sixty years, then Brinning faces the possibility of not being able to travel to watch any of the team's matches in person -- not because of any coronavirus restrictions but because he is gay and this World Cup is due to be held in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison.
"To be able to watch Wales play at the World Cup would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Brinning told CNN Sport. "But, honestly, I just don't know if I'd be able to go because I wouldn't feel safe. And that's really upsetting to think about -- because I should be able to be a part of such a huge moment in Welsh football history if it happens."
In July, Qatar World Cup organizers told CNN that it will not stop anybody from entering the country based on "sexual orientation," or indeed any other aspect, including their "race, religion, creed."
"This World Cup is open for everybody."
Germany fans hold up signs in relation to LGBTQ+ rights during the UEFA Euro 2020 round of 16 match at Wembley Stadium, London
However the decision made by FIFA to host the tournament in a nation where LGBTQ+ fans potentially do not feel welcome is just one aspect of a wider problem facing football right now, in which LGBTQ+ supporters feel that homophobia is on the rise within the sport and the ruling bodies of the game aren't doing enough to address it.

In a statement to CNN, a FIFA spokesperson said: "As laid out in the FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy, Qatar as a host country is fully aware of its responsibility to adhere to FIFA's expectations and requirements on human rights, equality and non-discrimination."