Welsh fans and a journalist failed for rainbow clothes

Wales fans have been barred from entering Al Rayyan Stadium for wearing rainbow-coloured hats. A journalist was held for 25 minutes by guards for a t-shirt.

The rainbow color is not exactly welcome in Qatar despite the promises of the organizers before the start of the World Cup. After threats from Fifa pushing seven selections to give up wearing a One Love armband, then the veto issued against Belgium’s second jersey, supporters are also paying the price for zero tolerance against the rainbow and its colors symbols of the defense of LGBTQIA+ rights.

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Welsh fans experienced it on Monday as they traveled to the Al Rayyan Stadium to watch their side’s first World Cup match against the United States (1-1). A woman wearing a multicolored hat was thus prevented from entering the enclosure after passing through the security gates. She was finally able to earn her place after removing her hat. Others suffered the same fate.

This was also the case of an American journalist, Grant Wahl, during the same meeting. The latter was refused access to the stadium for a rainbow t-shirt. He told his story on his website saying he was detained for 25 minutes by security forces asking him to change his t-shirt which they said was ‘not allowed’ due to his post. Politics ». According to his account, a New York Times reporter to whom he confided his situation was also detained by security guards for long minutes.

The security services claim to want to « protect » wearers of rainbow clothes from potential attacks in the stadium

The latter was allowed to enter, as was Grant Wahl after being visited by a security commander who apologized for this inconvenience. A member of the security service would then have justified this treatment to protect him from the fans inside the stadium who could take him to task because of his t-shirt. He says he also received an apology from Fifa later.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and organizers have urged LGBTQIA+ supporters to exercise discretion during the competition in recent months. Last April, Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, head of security for this 2022 World Cup, issued a warning in an interview given to the AP news agency. “If a supporter waves a rainbow flag in a stadium and it is taken away from him, it will not be because we want to offend him, but to protect him, he declared. Don’t do it, another bystander could attack him. If you want to express your point of view concerning the LGBT cause, do it in a society where it will be accepted. »

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