World Cup venues told to let fans bring rainbow-coloured items into grounds


World Cup venues have been told to let rainbow-coloured items into matches for the rest of the 2022 World Cup.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) stated on Thursday that rainbow-coloured items, including the “Rainbow Wall bucket hat”, would not be prohibited inside the stadium for their game against Iran on Friday, and that “all World Cup venues have been contacted” to follow the new guidelines.

A statement from the FAW read: “In response to the FAW, FIFA has confirmed that fans with Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be allowed entry to the stadium for Cymru’s match against Iran on Friday.

“All World Cup venues have been contacted and instructed to follow the agreed rules and regulations.”

Earlier this week, the FAW confirmed they were investigating reports that Welsh supporters had their rainbow bucket hats removed by stadium security ahead of the country’s match against the United States on Monday, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Footage taken by former Wales international Laura McAllister appeared to show stewards at the gate at the Al Rayyan stadium confiscating the items.

Bucket hats have become synonymous with Welsh support, with the rainbow versions expressing support for the LGBT+ community. In Qatar, same-sex relationships are criminalised, and punishable by three years in prison.

Before the tournament, it was understood that rainbow flags were to be allowed in stadiums after Qatar said it would conform with FIFA tolerance standards.

However, in April, Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al-Ansari, a senior security leader in Qatar, said rainbow flags could be confiscated from supporters, claiming it would be to protect them from violence by anti-LGBT+ fans.

On Monday, seven European nations withdrew their plans to wear a rainbow anti-discrimination armband, labelled ‘OneLove’, after fears of sporting sanctions from FIFA. However, the German national team covered their mouths in their team photo ahead of their opening match against Japan, which they lost 2-1, in protest against FIFA’s ban of the ‘OneLove’ armband.

The Athletic has contacted FIFA for comment.



OneLove armband u-turn is a reminder that men’s football will not stand up for LGBT people

(Photo: Getty Images)


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