Protester With Rainbow Flag Runs Onto Field At Soccer World Cup In Anti-LGBTQ Qatar

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — A protester ran onto the field Monday carrying a rainbow flag and sporting a blue Superman T-shirt that stated “SAVE UKRAINE” on the entrance and “RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMAN” on the again throughout a World Cup match between Portugal and Uruguay.

Safety officers chased the protester down and the flag was dropped on the sector earlier than the particular person was escorted away. The referee then picked up the flag and left it on the sideline, the place it stayed for just a few moments earlier than a employee got here and picked up it.

The protester was ushered away via a tunnel. It wasn’t instantly clear if the particular person confronted any prices or had been detained by police.

Thierry De Backer, FIFA’s media officer on the sport, advised The Related Press he had “no idea” what occurred to the protester. Native Qatari organizers wouldn’t remark.

A protester with a rainbow flag on the pitch through the FIFA World Cup Qatar match between Portugal and Uruguay.

DeFodi Photos by way of Getty Photos

In the primary week of the match in Qatar, seven European groups misplaced the battle to put on multi-colored “One Love” armbands throughout World Cup matches. Followers additionally complained they weren’t allowed to carry objects with rainbow colours, an emblem of LGBTQ rights, into the stadiums of the conservative Islamic emirate.

Qatar’s legal guidelines in opposition to homosexual intercourse and therapy of LGBTQ folks had been flashpoints within the run-up to the primary World Cup to be held within the Center East. Qatar has stated everybody was welcome, together with LGBTQ followers, however that guests ought to respect the nation’s tradition.

The incident occurred through the second half of the sport at Lusail Stadium.

Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who scored each targets in his workforce’s 2-0 win, stated he was so targeted on the sport that he didn’t actually discover what the protester’s intent was, and that he thought the protester may need wished to take an image with Cristiano Ronaldo, his star teammate.

“To be honest I didn’t really see what was the message that was trying to be conveyed,” Fernandes stated via a translator. “But we’ve already spoken about that many times. … We respect all human rights but those are political issues where we unfortunately don’t really have much strength, where we can’t really change anything.”

Earlier than the World Cup began, Fernandes stated soccer must be “for everyone,” including that he wasn’t blissful about staff who died constructing stadiums in Qatar.