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US journalist wearing rainbow shirt stopped from entering World Cup stadium

Journalist said his phone was taken off when he posted about this incident.

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A US sports journalist was denied entry into the stadium for the opening match World Cup match in Qatar for wearing a rainbow shirt. The sports journalist was wearing a rainbow shirt apparently to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. The journalist Grant Wahl says he was briefly detained on Monday when he tried to enter the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium wearing a rainbow shirt. He said his phone was taken off when he posted about this incident. “I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal,” Wahl wrote on Twitter.

Journalists say security personnel later approached him, apologized, and allowed him into the venue. Wahl says he also received an apology letter from the FIFA representative.

Read more: Women barred from wearing revealing clothes during FIFA World Cup

It has been announced that captains of England, Wales, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Denmark will not wear OneLove anti-discriminatory armbands after confirmation that they will be given yellow cards if they participate in the initiative.

“FIFA has been very clear that it will impose sporting sanctions if our captains wear the armbands on the field of play,” a joint statement from the nations read. “As national federations, we can’t put our players in a position where they could face sporting sanctions including bookings, so we have asked the captains not to attempt to wear the armbands in FIFA World Cup games.

“We were prepared to pay fines that would normally apply to breaches of kit regulations and had a strong commitment to wearing the armband. However, we cannot put our players in a situation where they might be booked or even forced to leave the field of play.

“We are very frustrated by the FIFA decision which we believe is unprecedented — we wrote to FIFA in September informing them of our wish to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband to actively support inclusion in football, and had no response. Our players and coaches are disappointed — they are strong supporters of inclusion and will show support in other ways,” read the statement.