Spectator With Rainbow Flag Runs Onto Pitch At World Cup In Qatar

A protester wearing runs on the pitch waving a rainbow flag during the World Cup group H game between Portugal and Uruguay in Qatar.
A protester wearing runs on the pitch waving a rainbow flag during the World Cup group H game between Portugal and Uruguay in Qatar.

A protester wearing runs on the pitch waving a rainbow flag during the World Cup group H game between Portugal and Uruguay in Qatar.

A football fan wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘Save Ukraine’ and ‘Respect for Iranian Woman’ has run onto the pitch with a rainbow flag during the Portugal and Uruguay World Cup game in Qatar.

The rainbow flag is likely to be symbol of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, and Fifa has clamped down on attempts by teams and fans to show support for LGBTQ+ rights, with people complaining they’ve been barred from bringing items with rainbow colours into the grounds.

At the group H game on Monday, security officials brought the spectator down and he dropped the flag on the field before being escorted off the pitch. The referee then picked up the flag and left it on the sideline, where it stayed for a few moments before a worker came and collected it.

In the first week of the tournament, seven European teams lost the battle to wear multi-coloured One Love armbands during World Cup matches after Fifa threatened the countries with punishment.

Britain’s sports minister Stuart Andrew has said he will “definitely” wear the One Love armband when he watches England play Wales on Tuesday.

Earlier in the tournament, Iran’s national football team stayed silent during the national anthem before their opening World Cup game against England in a powerful protest over the human rights atrocities taking place in their home country.

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