On Monday, November 21st, according to a claim made by an American journalist, he was detained for a brief amount of time when he sought to enter the World Cup stadium in Qatar whilst wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community. However, Qatar is a nation in which same-sex partnerships are illegal.
According to Grant Wahl, a former journalist for Sports Illustrated who now runs his own website, World Cup security turned him away from the United States vs. Wales match in the first game at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan and demanded him to remove his shirt.
When he tweeted about the event, he claimed that his phone had been confiscated.
“I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal,” Wahl wrote on Twitter.
I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal. Am in the media center, still wearing my shirt. Was detained for nearly half an hour. Go gays 🌈 https://t.co/S3INBoCz89
— Subscribe to GrantWahl.com (@GrantWahl) November 21, 2022
Wahl added, “Nearly half an hour passed. One security guard told me that my shirt was ‘political’ and not allowed. Another continually refused to give me back my phone. Another guard yelled at me as he stood above me – I was sitting on a chair by now – that I had to remove my shirt.”
“I told him no. ‘You can make this easy. Take off your shirt,’ one said. I told him no, adding that my shirt wasn’t political at all.”
Following explaining what was going on, Wahl was then joined by a second journalist, Andrew Das, who works for the New York Times. Das was also taken into custody after Wahl’s explanation.
They were then turned around to face the surveillance cameras that were above them as a guard questioned Wahl about his place of origin.
After all, Wahl said that after some time had passed, a security commander eventually apologized and then let him enter the arena. He was also extended an apology by a representative of FIFA, the world governing soccer organization. Continue to follow FIFA World Cup 2022 matches and watch your favorite teams compete for the cup!
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Seven European World Cup teams dropped plans for their captains to wear OneLove armbands earlier this week after FIFA threatened to send yellow cards to any player wearing the multi-colored armband, which was created to promote diversity and inclusion.
“As national federations we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions, including bookings,” the seven soccer federations stated in a joint statement on Monday.
The backpedaling occurred just hours before England’s Harry Kane, Wales’ Gareth Bale and the Netherlands’ Virgil van Dijk, were scheduled to wear the One Love armbands during the game on Monday. Armbands were also anticipated to be worn by the captains of Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark in the following days.
“Our number one priority at the World Cup is to win the games,” the Dutch soccer federation said in a separate statement. “Then you don’t want the captain to start the match with a yellow card.”
The One Love campaign was initiated in the Netherlands; its logo, which takes the form of a multicolored heart and is fashioned like a heart, aims to promote inclusiveness and diversity in soccer as well as in society.