BBC Apologizes For ‘Inappropriate' Question To Morocco Women's World Cup Captain

Ghizlane Chebbak was asked if there are “any gay players in your squad and what’s life like for them in Morocco,” where same-sex relations are illegal.

The BBC has apologized after one of its reporters asked Morocco’s women’s soccer team captain about the sexuality of her teammates during a press conference.

At a media Q&A ahead of Morocco’s first game at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which is currently being held in Australia and New Zealand, a journalist for the BBC World Service said: “In Morocco, it’s illegal to have a gay relationship.”

The reporter then asked captain Ghizlane Chebbak: “Do you have any gay players in your squad and what’s life like for them in Morocco?”

A press conference moderator intervened, and said: “Sorry, this is a very political question, so we’ll just stick to questions relating to football.”

But the reporter doubled down on their question.

In video footage from the press conference, Chebbak can be seen grimacing and taking her earpiece out as the moderator responds. She then shakes her head and smiles in disbelief.

“No, it’s not political,” the journalist replied. “It’s about people, it’s got nothing to do with politics. Please let her answer the question.”

In Morocco, same-sex relations can result in a fine or a prison term of up to three years. Other journalists present at the press conference were quick to condemn the exchange:

The BBC later apologized, with a spokesperson telling CNN: “We recognize that the question was inappropriate. We had no intention to cause any harm or distress.”

Morocco, who are playing in the Women’s World Cup for the first time, lost their first match 6-0 to Germany.

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