Rainbow Flag Appears on Pitch

World Cup protester's T-shirt referred to fighting in Ukraine, demonstrations in Iran
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2022 6:55 PM CST
Rainbow Flag Appears on Pitch
A pitch invader runs across the field with a rainbow flag during the World Cup soccer match Monday between Portugal and Uruguay at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.   (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Threats from FIFA have kept World Cup competitors from wearing rainbow armbands, but the rainbow flag made an appearance anyway during a match Monday. A man waving the flag ran across the pitch in the second half of the Portugal-Uruguay game, AFP reports, for about 30 seconds before security employees tackled him and took him away. He was wearing a T-shirt that said "Respect for Iranian Woman [sic]" on the back and "Save Ukraine" on the front. The rainbow is a symbol of LGBTQ pride and rights.

The man dropped the flag, which was later carried off by an employee, per Yahoo Sports. Some TV broadcasts briefly showed the man on the field before cutting away, which is standard for protesters at sporting events. Still photographers covering the match caught the moment, however. Demonstrations in support of women protesting against their government in Iran have taken place around the World Cup sites. FIFA and Qatari officials provided no information on whether the man was detained or charged, per the AP. (Read more 2022 World Cup stories.)

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