US journalist denied entry to FIFA World Cup 2022 opener against Wales for wearing rainbow T-shirt

FIFA has demanded the Belgium football team to remove the word "love" from the collar of their away shirt.

Tanishq SharmaAuthor

Updated - 22 November 2022 12:19 PM

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After countries like England and Wales ditched the idea for their captains to wear OneLove armbands, fans were denied entry to the Monday night game for wearing rainbow-coloured hats and t-shirts. Ahead of the Group B opener between the USA and Wales, a US journalist Grant Wahl was denied entry to the stadium for wearing a rainbow shirt.

The rainbow-coloured shirts and hats are used by fans to support the LGBTQ+ community and promote gender equality in country like Qatar, where same-sex marriage is illegal. Also read: Fans denied entry wearing rainbow hats.

Former Sports Illustrated journalist, Grant Wahl, who has his own website now, asserted that the Qatari officials denied him entry to the USA's Group B opener against Wales on Monday night at the FIFA World Cup 2022 and also asked him to remove the shirt to enter the stadium.

Wahl wrote on Twitter, "Qatar World Cup security detained me for 25 minutes for wearing a t-shirt supporting LGBTQ rights, forcibly took my phone and angrily demanded that I remove my t-shirt to enter the stadium. (I refused.)"

The journalist tweeted, "Both FIFA and US Soccer representatives told me publicly that rainbows on shirts and flags would not be a problem at the Qatar World Cup. The problem is they don't control this World Cup. The Qatari regime does, and it keeps moving the goalposts."

Wahl also said that his phone was taken away when he tweeted about the incident. Later, he said a security commander later approached him, apologized and allowed him into the venue.

FIFA demands Belgium to remove 'love' from away shirt

Belgium will begin their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign on Wednesday night against Canada at the Al Rayyan Stadium. Ahead of their Group F opener, FIFA has demanded the Belgium football team to remove the word "love" from the collar of their away shirt.

The away jersey of the Belgium football team sports the word 'love' with a rainbow-coloured trim on the badge and lower part of the sleeves. The Belgian officials have stated that they will wear their home jersey for the group stages and will deal with the situation if they qualify for the knockout stages.

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