Protester The first Middle East World Cup?

LUSAIL, Qatar (AP), — A protester ran onto Monday sporting a rainbow flag and wearing a Superman blue T-shirt that read “SAVE UKRAINE” on the front and “RESPECT IF IRANIAN WOMAN” on the back. The incident took place during a World Cup game between Uruguay and Portugal.

Security officers chased the protester and dropped the flag on the field. The person was then escorted off. The flag was picked up by the referee, who then left it on the sidelines until a worker arrived to collect it.

The protester was taken through a tunnel. It wasn’t immediately known if the protester was facing any charges or was being held by police.

Thierry de Backer, FIFA’s media representative at the game, said to The Associated Press he did not know what happened. Local Qatari organizers refused to comment.

Seven European teams lost the fight to wear multicolored “One Love” armbands at World Cup matches during the first week in Qatar. Fans complained that they couldn’t bring items with rainbow colours, which is considered a symbol for LGBTQ rights, into the stadiums in the conservative Islamic Emirates.

The first Middle East World Cup was held in Qatar. Its laws regarding gay sex were controversial. Qatar says that all are welcome, and even LGBTQ fans, however, it insists that the culture of Qatar must be respected.

The incident took place at Lusail Stadium’s second half.

Bruno Fernandes from Portugal, a midfielder, claimed he was too focused on the game to notice what the protester was trying to do. He thought the protester might be looking for a photo with Cristiano Ronaldo, his teammate.

Fernandes spoke through a translator. Fernandes admitted that he didn’t understand the message being sent. “But we have already spoken about this many times. … We respect all human right, but these are political issues where unfortunately we don’t really have any strength and can’t change anything.

Fernandes, who was against the World Cup’s start, said that soccer should be available to everyone. He also expressed concern about the deaths of workers building stadiums in Qatar.

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