A pitch invader with a rainbow flag interrupted Portugal’s World Cup game against Uruguay with LGBTQ+ rights top of mind in Qatar.
A supporter entered the playing surface in the 51st minute of the Group H clash, with referee Alireza Faghani having to stop play.
Homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf State and the rainbow flag is widely used as a symbol of support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Qatari officials have cracked down on protests in support of equal rights, with Wales fans claiming their rainbow hats were confiscated, and a Brazilian journalist even had a flag taken for the state of Pernambuco because it contains a rainbow.
FIFA and Qatar have also been embroiled in a scandal over World Cup captains being threatened with yellow cards for wearing a rainbow-coloured OneLove armband.
Officials even went so far as to order Belgium to remove the word “love” from the branding of their away shirt.
The field invader also had on a shirt that had the messages “Save Ukraine” and “Respect Iranian Women” on it.
The statements come amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while protesters in Iran for women’s rights have recently been killed.
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FIFA had previously told qualifying nations they were free to speak out, but there have been numerous cases of police and security cracking down on rainbow symbols and other gestures.
Football’s governing body softened its stance ahead of Wales’ clash with Iran, which the Football Association of Wales later confirmed.
“In response to the FAW, FIFA has confirmed that fans wearing Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be permitted to enter the stadium for @Cymru’s game against Iran on Friday,” said the FAW in a tweet.
“All World Cup venues have been contacted and urged to follow agreed rules and regulations.”