World Cup protesters banned from matches
DOHA, QATAR –
Protesters ran into the field during a World Cup match carrying rainbow flags and wearing blue Superman t-shirts with messages in support of Ukraine and Iranian women were banned from attending any matches during the tournament in Qatar today. Tuesday.
The World Cup organizers said in a statement that “the individual involved was released shortly after being taken off the field” and his embassy had been notified.
“As a result of his actions, and in accordance with standard practice, his (entry permit) has been canceled and he has been banned from future matches at this tournament, ” the statement said.
The protester identified himself on social media as Mario Ferri, an Italian who has performed similar stunts at football matches before.
Ferri ran into the field during the second half of Monday’s match between Portugal and Uruguay carrying a rainbow flag. Security officials chased him and Ferri dropped the flag on the field before he was escorted away.
“I will call it ‘THE FINAL’, my last field incursion, I want to send IMPORTANT messages that I have felt to have experienced firsthand in recent months,” Ferri wrote in an Instagram post.
Ferri writes that he has friends who are suffering in Ukraine and that he spent a month in the country as a volunteer after Russia invaded the country in February.
In the days leading up to the opening match, captains of seven European teams were banned from wearing multicolored “One Love” armbands during World Cup matches in support of LGBTQ2S+ rights. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.
Some fans also complained that they were not allowed to bring items with rainbow colors into the stadium.
Ferri said that caused him to protest.
“FIFA banned the rainbow captaincy and the human rights flag from the stands, they banned everyone, BUT NOT ME,” Ferri wrote, adding “like a Robinhood 2.0, I bring the message to the PEOPLE. We want a free world that respects all races and ideas.”
Ferri said that the police held him for about an hour after the incident and treated him well. He said FIFA President Gianni Infantino helped him to be released without any punishment, except for a ban from watching any more World Cup matches.
“But even that has a solution. I’ve prepared some magic for tonight,” Ferri said in an Instagram recording without giving details.
Ferri has interrupted some matches before. He said that Infantino recognized him when he ran into the field during World Cup matches in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014.