The ongoing Qatar Fifa World Cup has experienced its first gay protester, it is however not clear if the guy is a guy or not but he was seen carrying a rainbow flag and he invaded the pitch during the World Cup game between Portugal and Uruguay. The protester wore a T-shirt with ‘Save Ukraine’ on the front and ‘Respect for Iranian woman’ on the back.
LGBTQ Protester in Qatar Fifa World Cup
Stewards chased him and he dropped the flag before being taken off the field at Lusail Stadium, the venue for the final on 18 December. The decision to stage the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal, has been criticised by LGBTQ+ groups and it was not a surprise he pulled that stunt.
The protester was identified as Italian Mario Ferri by the Italian press agency AGI. He has staged similar protests before, including at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where he raised the issue of children living in poverty. Before the tournament in Qatar, Fifa wrote to all 32 competing teams to tell them to focus strictly on football and not come to influx their people with their believes.
Qatar World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman called homosexuality “damage in the mind” prior to the tournament, comments which Human Rights Watch said were “harmful and unacceptable.” England, Wales and other European nations decided to wear the one love armband at the World Cup after Fifa threatened captains with sporting sanctions.
The captains, including England’s Harry Kane and Gareth Bale of Wales, had planned to wear the armband during matches to promote diversity and inclusion.