US football reporter says he was arrested at World Cup over rainbow jersey By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – 2022 World Cup Preview – Doha, Qatar – November 10, 2022 A Qatar 2022 logo is seen in front of the West Bay skyline in Doha REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo
DOHA (Reuters) – A U.S. journalist said he was briefly detained on Monday as he tried to enter a World Cup stadium in Qatar while wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQ community in a country where same-sex relations are illegal.
Grant Wahl, a former Sports Illustrated journalist who now has his own website, says World Cup security denied him entry to the United States opener against Wales at Ahmad Stadium Bin Ali to Al Rayyan and asked him to take off his shirt.
He said his phone was taken away when he tweeted about the incident.
“I’m fine, but it was an unnecessary ordeal,” Wahl wrote on Twitter.
He said a security commander approached him later, apologized and allowed him to enter the scene. He also later received an apology from a representative of FIFA, football’s international governing body, he said.
Reuters has contacted FIFA for comment.
Earlier on Monday, seven European World Cup nations scrapped plans to have their respective captains wear OneLove armbands after FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing the multi-coloured armband, which was introduced to support diversity and inclusion.