Protester with rainbow flag runs onto the field at World Cup

A protester ran onto the pitch with a rainbow flag and a blue Superman T-shirt that read “SAVE UKRAINE” on the front and “RESPECT FOR IRANIAN WOMAN” on the back during a World Cup match between Portugal and Uruguay on Monday.

Security officials chased the protester and the flag was dropped on the pitch before the person was led away. The referee then picked up the flag and left it on the sideline, where it lay briefly before an employee came to collect it.

The protester was led away through a tunnel. It was not immediately clear whether the person was charged or detained by the police.

FIFA did not immediately comment on the incident.

In the first week of the tournament in Qatar, seven European teams lost the battle for wearing multicolored ‘One Love’ bracelets during World Cup matches. Fans also complained that they were not allowed to take items with rainbow colors, a symbol of LGBTQ rights, into the stadiums of the conservative Islamic emirate.

Qatar’s laws against gay sex and treatment of LGBTQ people were focal points in the run-up to the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East. Qatar has said that everyone is welcome, including LGBTQ fans, but that visitors must respect the country’s culture.

The incident occurred during the second half of the match at Lusail Stadium.

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