Protester with rainbow flag interrupts men’s World Cup match in Qatar

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 the Iranian woman” on the back during a World Cup match between Portugal and Uruguay on Monday.

The protester’s t-shirt read “Respect Iranian Woman” on the back and “Save Ukraine” on the front under a Superman decal. (Molly Darlington/Reuters)

Security officials chased the protester and the flag was dropped on the field before being escorted off the field.

The referee then picked up the flag and left it on the sideline, where it lay briefly before an employee came to collect it.

Security tackled the protester shortly after he ran onto the field. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

It was not immediately clear whether the protester was charged or detained by the police.

It was not immediately clear whether the protester was charged or detained by the police. (Aijaz Rahi/The Associated Press)

In the first week of the tournament in Qatar, seven European teams lost the battle of 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.

Referee Alireza Faghani takes the rainbow flag after the protester was led off the field. (Molly Darlington/Reuters)

Qatar’s restrictive sex laws and treatment of LGBTQ people were focal points leading 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.

Belgian fans are pictured in T-shirts with a rainbow-colored heart on Wednesday. That logo was intended to appear on the armbands of several European teams as a protest against Qatar’s anti-LGBTQ laws before FIFA intervened. (Martin Meissner/The Associated Press)

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