The World Cup in Qatar is the most controversial yet - being held in a nation which forbids same-sex relations under Islamic Sharia law and which has a reputation for poor human rights.
The tournament would normally unite the world with its festival of football - but this one has been dogged by corruption and fears for how LGBT+ fans will be treated.
What does Qatar's law say about homosexuality?
Qatari law calls for a prison sentence of one to three years for "inducing or seducing a male or a female in any way to commit illegal or immoral actions".
It also calls for the same punishment for whoever is "instigating" or "seducing" a male to "commit sodomy".
However, men and women can face action under the Penal Code 2004, which criminalises same-sex activity and leads to heavier sentences of up to seven years in jail.
The conservative Muslim country adopts an interpretation of Sharia law which can even lead to same-sex relationships being punished with the death penalty.
What has happened to people who have been arrested?
Campaign groups have said members of the LGBT+ community have been detained and "subjected to ill-treatment in detention".
Human Rights Watch recently identified a number of cases where individuals were given severe and repeated beatings while in custody.
Detainees were said to have been ordered to attend "conversion therapy sessions" at government centres as a requirement for their release.
Some were said to have been initially arrested in public places "based solely on their gender expression".
What have fans said about the World Cup?
Saskia Nino de Rivera initially considered going to the tournament in Qatar with her fiancee, Mariel Duayhe.
But as the couple learned more about laws on same-sex relations in the Gulf country, the plans no longer sounded like a good idea.
Ms Nino de Rivera said: "As a lesbian woman, it's really hard for me to feel and think that we are going to a country where we don't know what could happen and how we could be safe."
Such concerns are shared by fans worldwide - with many considering whether to even watch the tournament on television.
What else has recently been said about the Gulf state's stance on homosexuality?
Former Qatari footballer Khalid Salman - an ambassador for the World Cup - described homosexuality as "damage in the mind".
Ahead of the tournament, he told German public broadcaster ZDF's news programme Heute Journal that being gay is "haram" - or forbidden in Arabic.
Mr Salman also said homosexuality "is spiritual harm".
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly faced strong criticism in the UK for telling gay fans who visit Qatar to not stage any protests.
He said overseas travellers should "respect the laws of their host country" - but was accused of handing gay fans travelling to Qatar a "slap in the face".
In a further interview with Sky News, Mr Cleverly said: "These are Muslim countries, they have a very different cultural starting point [from] us.
"I think it's important, when you're a visitor to a country, that you respect the culture of your host nation."
His comments provoked fierce criticism, with the minister being accused of being "shockingly tone-deaf".
Meanwhile, there was "contempt" expressed for FIFA after plans by England and Wales to wear anti-discrimination armbands were dropped under threat of sporting sanction.
In a statement, the Football Supporters' Association said: "Today we feel betrayed. Today we feel contempt for an organisation that has shown its true values by giving the yellow card to players and the red card to tolerance.
"Never again should a World Cup be handed out solely on the basis of money and infrastructure.
"No country which falls short on LGBT+ rights, women's rights, worker's rights or any other universal human right should be given the honour of hosting a World Cup."