'I can't hold her hand there' Poet Sarah McCreadie shares why she won't be at the World Cup in Qatar

  • Watch Sarah McCreadie's poem: 'I Can't Hold Her Hand There, So I Won't Go'

A poet from Cardiff said she has chosen not to go to Qatar to support Wales in the World Cup because of her sexuality.

Sarah McCreadie is huge supporter of the Welsh football team but as a lesbian, she said she would not want to watch them away for the World Cup in a country where being gay is effectively criminalised.

Sarah said that the human rights record of Qatar, including the alleged deaths of migrants who worked on building the stadium, are also factors that led to her decision not to visit the country.

Last year, a report by the Guardian newspaper said 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since the award of the World Cup – something “categorically” denied by authorities.

Speaking on ITV Wales arts programme Backstage, Sarah said: "I love football, I've always loved football.

"As long as I can remember I've been playing football and writing about football as well... I play for a team called the South London Laces. We've lost every game but I don't mind.

"There's nothing like football bringing people together, it's a beautiful thing. It's a beautiful game for a reason."

Sarah said she felt "euphoric" when she saw Wales reach the World Cup.

"I went completely nuts and lost my mind. There were people doing knee slides and people on the tables.

"Being a football fan matters so much, it goes beyond football, it's identity.

"I feel really lucky to be a Wales fan. I wouldn't swap it for anything."

Sarah McCreadie has also written a poem about Gareth Bale. Credit: ITV Wales/Backstage

But despite the joy she felt for her team, Sarah knew she would not attend their matches.

"I never thought as a Wales fan, if we got to a World Cup I wouldn't be going.

"But of course I felt like I can't go and I wouldn't want to."

Sarah said she felt "compelled" to write a poem, which expressed her feelings around the World Cup being held in Qatar. She called it, 'I Can't Hold Her Hand There, So I Won't Go'.

"The poem basically covers the feeling I have of what I presume is going to happen where everyone is going to say 'this is a world united and everything is wonderful and it has brought the world together' but in the background, there is quite a lot of heartbreak for quite a lot of fans."

Sarah's poem has been published in 'Y Wal Goch - Ar Ben y Byd' a book which also includes work by national treasure Dafydd Iwan and rapper Sage Todz.

  • Watch Backstage: World Cup special on ITV Cymru Wales, Sunday 20 November at 7pm and online.