During the World Cup soccer match between Portugal and Uruguay, a protester walks onto the field carrying a colorful flag and wearing a blue Superman T-shirt that reads “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect for Iranian Women” on the back. The security officers caught him and took him outside. Before that he had put the flag on the ground. The referee later picked up the flag and placed it on the side where the staff took it away. FIFA media officer Thierry de Becker said he did not know what happened to the protester afterwards. Local organizers did not comment.
Seven European teams were not allowed to wear the colorful ‘One Love’ armbands in the first week of the tournament. Some fans complained that they were not allowed to take colorful LGBTQ rights items to the ground. Qatar’s laws on homosexuality and the treatment of LGBQT people are hotly debated. Qatar has said everyone is welcome at the World Cup, including gays, but visitors must respect the host country’s culture.
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Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, who scored twice against Uruguay, said he was too focused on the match to understand what the protestors were trying to convey. He said he thought he had come to take a picture with Cristiano Ronaldo. He said, “I didn’t see what his message was but we have spoken about it many times. We respect human rights but these are political issues and we cannot change anything about them.