FIFA World Cup: US journalist ‘detained’ in Qatar for wearing rainbow shirt

A US journalist covering FIFA World Cup in Qatar claimed that he was detained for wearing a rainbow shirt- showing his support for the LGBTQ community. Grant Wahl runs his own website covering football and earlier worked for Sports Illustrated.

Grant Wahl said that he was not allowed to enter the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan for Monday’s match between US and Wales because of his shirt, which had a soccer ball surrounded by a rainbow.

“You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed,” Grant Wahl tweeted that he was told. He later alleged that his phone was taken away when he tweeted about the incident.

“I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal,” Grant Wahl wrote on Twitter.

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Free to read: What happened when 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.) Story:

— Subscribe to (@GrantWahl) November 21, 2022

Grant Wahl said that he was later allowed to enter the venue after a security commander approached him and apologised. He also said that he received an apology from a representative of FIFA.

Qatari law criminalises homosexuality and poses a heavier sentences of up to seven years in jail if found to be displaying any sexual acts of homosexuality. Under the country’s sharia law, the maximum punishment for same-sex relationships is the death penalty.

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