In a significant development, FIFA has taken a U-turn on the prohibition of rainbow-themed merchandise during the next round of fixtures in Qatar. Football's governing body has reportedly informed all the nations that there will be no further issues related to the topic after a string of incidents in the first round of group-stage matches led to some fans being dejected due to strict norms.
The crucial decision comes a day ahead as Wales and England are set for their second World Cup games. The Football Association of Wales (FAW) said that governing body has confirmed fans will be allowed to enter with the items for the clash with Iran after they confiscated them ahead of Wales' 1-1 draw with the USA. Earlier, seven different UEFA federations were forced into pulling out of their planned gesture to don the' One Love' armband after FIFA threatened to book any player wearing it.
FAW has revealed that they have got the nod from FIFA and fans with rainbow wall bucket hats and rainbow flags are permitted to the stadium. "All World Cup venues have been conveyed and instructed to follow the agreed rules & regulations. The FAW urges FIFA to adhere to their message that everybody will be welcome in Qatar during the World Cup and continue highlighting any further human rights issues. We remain with the belief that football is for everyone," stated FAW in its released statement.
The rainbow colors became a major talking point during the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022, as Qatar prohibits homosexuality. The FAW requested FIFA to remain committed of their "everybody will be welcome" message in Qatar during the tournament after the first week brought to many incidents where security forces dealt with LGBTQ+ supports with strictness.
Earlier, a group of Wales supporters had to remove their rainbow-themed bucket hats while they were trying to get into the stadium to watch Wales' opening clash in FIFA World Cup more than 60 years when they took on the USA.
England boss Gareth Southgate has said that his team might make a gesture or wear the rainbow armband to extend their support towards human-right concerns, but also informed that they will not be pressured into doing so.