Qatar 2022: A new scandal about the alleged rainbow flag

“This is ridiculous”
The flag of a Brazilian state causes a commotion in front of the World Cup stadium – a rainbow appears

Lusail Stadium is one of eight stadiums at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar – and the scene of a new rainbow flag scandal

© Khaled Desouky/AFP

In Qatar, it appears that a man has approached Brazilian fans to display their country’s flag. You can see on it: rainbow. Then the security forces targeted the journalist who claimed to have seen the scene.

There is trouble again in Qatar, again because of the rainbow flag – and again a journalist has ended up in the crosshairs of the security forces. This time around, however, the case looks even stranger than its predecessors.

According to Portuguese-Brazilian journalist Victor Pereira, a group of Brazilian fans were harassed by a man in front of the stadium in Lusail after they reportedly raised the flag of the state of Pernambuco in the east of the South American country. “The man in white grabbed the flag and threw it on the ground and started stomping on it,” Pereira told Reuters. It was said that the incident occurred after the match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia (1: 2) on Tuesday. As reported by several Brazilian media.

Flag of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco

Flag of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco

The flag of Pernambuco shows, among other things, a tricolor rainbow and a yellow star on a blue background in the upper half, and a red Christian cross on a white background in the lower half. It was not clear which of these symbols angered the alleged man. Journalist Pereira hypothesized that the rainbow on the region’s flag had been mistaken for the LGBTQIA* rights symbol. LGBTQIA* stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gay, Bisexual, Asexual, and Other People of Heterosexual Orientation. Homosexuality is a crime punishable by the host country of the World Cup.

He told Reuters that Pereira wanted to record the incident. “I took my phone to take a video but he took it from my hand and said he wouldn’t give it back unless I deleted the video.” Then a Qatari officer intervened and took the phone and then ordered the journalist to delete the video. He complies to get his cell phone back because he needed it for his work.

“This is ridiculous”

Pereira subsequently uploaded several videos to his Twitter channel and described the situation in apparent distress. The handling of the fan flag cannot be seen in the video, but another clip shows from a different perspective that a man appears to have taken Pereira’s cell phone. “It’s absurd, after all we have permission from FIFA to film everything,” the journalist accused.

The organizers of the World Cup in Qatar and the local government did not initially comment on the Lusail Stadium incident, in response to a question from Reuters. Pernambuco Governor Paulo Camara expressed his solidarity with Pereira on Twitter. He wrote that his country’s flag represented “liberty, diversity and unity”. “Values ​​that we proudly carry around the world.”

Rainbow symbols are not allowed in Qatar

The latest incident is just one in a whole series of scandals surrounding the rainbow symbol: On Monday, for example, security forces detained an American journalist for nearly half an hour before the USA’s match against Wales because he was wearing a T-shirt. Bear with Avatar. Wales fans complained that their rainbow colored caps had been taken from them before the match. ZDF reporter Claudia Neumann set an example during the broadcast of the preliminary round match, posing in front of the camera with a rainbow armband and T-shirt.

You can read all results and stats for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar here

FIFA had previously banned several national teams, including Germany, from allowing their captains to wear armbands bearing the words “One Love” on the field. The German Football Association has announced that they will abide by FIFA’s guidelines and refrain from using the visible Equal Rights in All Life and Love sign at their World Cup matches.

Sources: Reuters news agencyAnd the Victor Pereira on TwitterAnd the Victor Pereira on InstagramAnd the Paulo Camara on Twitter

Collaboration: Moritz Dikentmann

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