During Monday’s World Cup match between Uruguay and Portugal, a pitch invader wearing a rainbow flag ran onto the pitch.
The protester was wearing a Superman blue T-shirt with messages such as “save Ukraine” or “respect Iranian women”.
Security officers chased him down and led him through a tunnel. The rainbow flag fell to the ground.
The referee took the flag and left it on the sidelines. A worker came to collect it.
It wasn’t clear if he was taken into custody by police or if he received any other changes after being escorted from the Lusail Stadium pitch during the second period.
Bruno Fernandes (Portugal midfielder), said that he was so focused on his game that he didn’t notice the protester’s intentions. He believed he was trying to get a photo with Cristiano Rocha.
Fernandes spoke through a translator and said that he didn’t see the message being conveyed.
“But we’ve already talked about that many times…We respect all human rights, but these are political issues where unfortunately we don’t have much strength and can’t really make any changes.”
Fernandes stated that soccer should be for everyone before the World Cup began, adding that he was not happy about the deaths of workers building stadiums in Qatar.
In the lead-up to the first World Cup in the Middle East, Qatar’s laws on homosexuality and treatment of LGBTQ people were under scrutiny.
Seven European teams lost the fight to wear multicolored “One Love” armbands during World Cup matches in the first week.
Fans were not permitted to bring rainbow-coloured items into the stadiums at the conservative Islamic Emirate. This is a symbol of LGBTQ rights.
Qatar stated that everyone is welcome, even LGBTQ fans. However, visitors must respect Qatar’s culture.