A BBC cameraman was reportedly denied entry to England’s match with the USA on Friday evening due to his rainbow-coloured watch strap. FIFA claim that rainbow items should no longer be turned away from World Cup stadiums after several incidents of Qatari security doing just that.
LGBTQ+ rights has been a key issue leading up to, and during the first few days of the Qatar World Cup. Homosexuality is illegal in the host nation despite organisers’ repeated assurances that all visitors would be welcome at the tournament.
Reports quickly emerged of people donning rainbow-coloured items being turned away by security, however. Certain shirts and bucket hats were deemed inappropriate as fans looked to send a message about what they thought of Qatar’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ rights.
Earlier this week, FIFA confirmed to federations that rainbow flags will no longer be prohibited at World Cup matches and Qatari authorities have assured them that things will change.
That doesn’t appear to be the case everywhere, however, as BBC sports correspondent Natalie Pirks has claimed, via Twitter, that a member of camera staff was refused entry to the due to a rainbow watch.
The mutlicoloured strap was supposedly a gift from the cameraman’s son as confusion persists over what is permitted and whether the message from FIFA is getting through to those on the ground in Qatar. The incident occurred outside the Al Bayt Stadium, where England take on the USA in their second Group B fixture.
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