Portugal’s Ruben Neves urges World Cup authorities to be lenient on pride flag pitch invader

Pitch invader  (AP)
Pitch invader (AP)

Ruben Neves has urged the Qatar authorities to look after the pitch invader who ran on with a rainbow flag during Portugal’s 2-0 win over Uruguay at the World Cup.

The man, reportedly identified as Mario Ferri, was holding a pride flag and wore a t-shirt that read ‘Save Ukraine’ on the front and ‘Respect Iranian Women’ on the back’ and entered the field early in the second half.

He was quickly tackled to the ground by security and dragged off the pitch.

Neves was speaking to reporters immediately after the game used the chance to plea for gentle treatment.

“Of course, we are all with them and the message on his shirt for Iran as well,” Ruben Neves said at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. “We hope nothing happens to the boy because we understand his message and I think all the world understood it as well.

“We know what has happened around this World Cup. It is a normal thing that can happen.”

Portugal will be in the last 16 after two goals from Bruno Fernandes, but Cristiano Ronaldo initially claimed the first after straining to connect with the goal-bound cross.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Neves is not fussed over who the goal is credited to, rather underlining the need to remain focused with points still needed against South Korea to secure a first-place finish.

“I didn’t see the image yet,” he added about the contended Fernandes goal. “He said he didn’t know. The most important thing is not who scored for Portugal but how we won the game.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar | Best Images and Moments

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England’s Harry Kane reacts after missing a chance to score v USA (REUTERS)
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Brazil’s midfielder #05 Casemiro celebrates with teammates after he scored his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group G match v Switzerland at Stadium 974 in Doha (AFP via Getty Images)
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France’s Kylian Mbappe scores their second goal v Denmark (REUTERS)
A pitch invader runs across the field with a rainbow flag during the World Cup group H match between Portugal and Uruguay, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail (AP)
A pitch invader runs across the field with a rainbow flag during the World Cup group H match between Portugal and Uruguay, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail (AP)
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Uruguay’s forward #21 Edinson Cavani (bottom) eyes the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doh (AFP via Getty Images)
Uruguay’s forward #21 Edinson Cavani (bottom) eyes the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group H match between Portugal and Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doh (AFP via Getty Images)
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A Ghana staff member takes selfie with despondent Heung-min Son after victory over South Korea (BBC)
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Iran’s Mehdi Taremi collides with Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey during theIR FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al-Rayyan (PA)
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Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal v Mexico (REUTERS)
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Spain’s Alvaro Morata in action with Germany’s Nico Schlotterbeck (REUTERS)

“It’s an amazing feeling [to qualify]. Our main goal was this. We did it but we still have one game to play and we want to go to finish first in our group.

“We don’t think about [who we play in the next round]. We see that game coming as important so we focus on the next game.”