Phil in Qatar
Image caption, "I don't feel I have to choose between being a gay man and an England fan," says Phil

Phil is a lifelong football fan who has been to the World Cup four times. As a gay man travelling in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalised, he tells us through his diary how it has been difficult.

Short presentational grey line

The airport was packed with fans from all over the world for the World Cup in Russia, but it looks like an average Tuesday here.

I've been a fan of England for a long time, but I don't know what gay means. I remember watching the World Cup in 1990 at my grandparents' house and being allowed to stay up late for England games.

I know that I'm in the minority of gay England fans, but I'm not going to let that stop me from enjoying the game that I love. I don't think I have to choose between being gay and an England fan.

From a position of extreme privilege, I accept that I said that. There is a layer of protection that applies to me as a western foreigner. I'm not sure what to think about that.

I just left the stadium after Japan beat Germany. The game was excellent.

It's all very strange here. There is no one who knows what to do in the stadiums. There is a specific area to have your flags and banners looked at by security.

Security at a stadium in DohaImage source, Reuters
Image caption, Security is high at the stadiums in Doha

There is a sign on the metro that says football is a vehicle for respecting human rights, but who is responsible for that?

The stadiums have more security than any of the other tournaments. The atmosphere here is not threatening. They are looking for something.

A gay fan from the Netherlands was talking to me. He feels a bit uneasy about being here.

I got a lot of messages from Saudi men after I opened my dating app. The Qataris may think that queer life in the Middle East is over, but it's not.

Fans in Souq WaqifImage source, PA Media
Image caption, Fans have been celebrating in Doha's Souq Waqif

I just finished watching England play. I asked the England fan if he had any problems getting into the stadium after I bumped into him at half-time. He was looked over by several people, but was told "oh, it's okay now". I think "green shoots" is the phrase because I've seen a couple of fans in USA jerseys with rainbow numbers.

Since I've been here, I've thought a lot about the slogan " football is for everyone". Gay fans are not considered part of the equation by the locals. It is a taboo topic that we are invisible to.

It is one of the reasons that a lot of my fellow LGBT fans have not been able to come out here.

I'm leaving the stadium at the end of the game.

A group of fans from Tunisia unfurled a huge flag at the end of the game. There's nothing wrong with that, but when officials talk about keeping politics out of sport, and then a flag that size is allowed in by the flag police at the stadium, that's not right.

Tunisian fans holding up a large Image source, EPA
Image caption, During the Australia v Tunisia game, fans unfurled a banner that read "Free Palestine"

A group of Mexican, Argentinian and European fans watched France vsDenmark in downtownDoha and talked about how this compares to other World Cup. There is a lot to like about how this has been run, and there have been some good games.

The messaging is "say no to discrimination". I've heard people say, "you're safe here, why does it matter that you're gay?"

I know I have that privilege of being relatively safe, but unless you've actually walked in our shoes, and felt that feeling of exclusion, it's hard to describe.

I'm going to sign off for the last time in Qatar when I get on my flight to the UK.

There was an uproar when the World Cup was awarded to Qatar, but it was more about the corruption allegations than the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer community. It might be a measure of the progress within Europe and the UK.

Do you ever feel worried about your safety here? It is not possible to say yes. I don't know if I would have done it under other circumstances. Again, also no. Do I think my experience here has been compromised because I know what happens to the local LGBT population? I do.

There are things in life that are more important than focusing on the football.

Fans outside the stadium before France v DenmarkImage source, Reuters
Image caption, Qatar's hosting of the World Cup has been controversial since it was first announced in 2010

It was told to Josh and Ashantha Nagesh. Phil shared his experience on the app. His full name isn't being published by us.