US reporter ‘detained for nearly half an hour and refused entry into stadium’ at Qatar World Cup
An American reporter was detained and refused entry into a World Cup stadium in Qatar on Monday.
Grant Wahl was attempting to head into the Al Rayyan Stadium for USA’s opening game of the tournament against Wales.
But he was not allowed into the venue because he was wearing a rainbow shirt.
Tournament hosts Qatar have been slammed for their human rights abuses and treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.
Being gay is is punishable by a prison sentence in the country.
And Wahl was refused entry and detained simply because he wore the pro-LGBTQ+ colours on his shirt.
He posted: “Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales.
“‘You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.””
New York Times reporter, Andrew Das, was walking past and also ended up being briefly detained.
Wahl alleged staff “forcibly ripped” his phone from his hands after he sent his initial tweet.
And they justified their decision to not let him in by insisting his shirt was “political”.
Just under an hour later he then gave an update on his situation, confirming he had eventually been allowed into the stadium.
He reported: “I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal.
“Am in the media center, still wearing my shirt. Was detained for nearly half an hour. Go gays.”
A security commander arrived at the scene to release Wahl, before a Fifa official apologised for the incident.
It came just hours after Fifa forced the FA and other national football associations to back down from their captains wearing the OneLove armband.
England and six other European nations pulled out of using the rainbow symbol to show support for the LGBTQ+ community worldwide.
And Three Lions skipper Harry Kane was left unhappy with the decision.
He said: “The decision was taken out of my hands. I am disappointed.
“I turned up to the stadium with the armband that I wore and I was told I had to wear that.
“Look, it’s out of our control as players. I’m sure the FA and Fifa will continue those discussions but most importantly, we focused on the game and got a great result.
“We took the knee today as well but sometimes these decisions aren’t up to us and that’s the bottom line.
“As a squad, our focus was on the game today and I think we showed we’re a really good team and have full focus on what we need to do.”
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