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05th Dec 2022

Football fan arrested in Qatar for wearing rainbow armband in fan park

Callum Boyle

He has since been released

A football fan has been arrested in Qatar for wearing a rainbow armband to show support for the LGBT+ community in a fan park.

Mark Potts of Salisbury in Wiltshire was arrested while in the Middle East for the World Cup after he was spotted wearing the colours which are displayed on the pride flag.

Potts was later released by Qatari authorities but was reportedly asked to sign a statement in which he had to pledge he wouldn’t do it again before eventually being let go.

Before the World Cup, Qatar said that they would relax their usual stance and allow fans to display the rainbow flag however since making that statement, fans in the country have experienced quite the opposite.

At many of the stadiums, supporters have had items displaying the rainbow flag confiscated or been told to remove by security members around the country.

Only as recently as last week FIFA released a statement in which they revealed they had told all venues hosting games at the World Cup to allow rainbow-coloured hats and flag into stadiums for the remainder of the tournament.

Since then a fan entered the pitch during Portugal’s group stage game against Uruguay displaying a rainbow flag as well as messages which said “save Ukraine” and “respect for Iranian woman”.

He was chased down by security and ushered away through a tunnel before leaving the flag behind.

Meanwhile several European nations were forced to abandon their idea to wear the ‘One Love’ rainbow armband during games at the World Cup after the world governing body threatened to sanction the participating sides with economic fines and yellow cards.

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