The FIFA World Cup 2022 is underway as Wales squared off against the USA on Monday night for the fourth match of the marquee tournament. Wales qualified to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958, however, Qatari officials triggered more controversies after denying entry to the Welsh fans wearing rainbow hats for their opener against the USA.
Amid controversies, England and Wales captains Harry Kane and Gareth Bale respectively opted out of wearing the 'OneLove' armbands as FIFA could impose a one-game ban to the defiant captains. However, fans were spotted wearing a rainbow-coloured bucket hat at the Ahmed Bin Ali stadium.
Ahead of Wales' World Cup opener against the USA, Welsh fans donned rainbow-coloured bucket hats for the Monday night's game. But the Qatari officials denied entry to the fans wearing hats, reportedly only female fans' were not allowed to enter the stands with the hats. Among the female fans, who were denied entering the stands wearing hats, former Wales footballer Laura McAllister, a trustee of the FAW Trust, was also denied entry for wearing the hat.
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After denying entry to the fans, Laura McAllister told ITV, "I pointed out that FIFA had made lots of comments about supporting LGBT rights in this tournament, and said to them that coming from a nation where we’re very passionate about equality for all people, I wasn’t going to take my hat off. They were insistent that unless I took the hat off we weren’t actually allowed to come into the stadium."
The hats were designed by the LGBTQ+ football organisation, The Rainbow Wall to promote inclusion and equality in the sport and also feature the iconic Welsh football symbol.
Talking about the game, Gareth Bales produced another clutch performance in his career as he equalized the score with a late penalty goal and helped his side to salvage a point against the USA. Timothy Weah gave the lead to the USA with a 36th minute goal, but failed to maintain their lead throughout the game.