QATAR has been ordered by Fifa to stop forcing fans to remove their rainbow hats when they enter stadiums
Security guards ahead Wales 1-1 draw with the USA cracked down on fans wearing pro-LGBTQ+ clothing at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Fans reported being forced to remove rainbow-coloured bucket hats, rainbow wristbands and even rainbow laces.
And one man even reported he was refused entry to the stadium because he was wearing a t-shirt sporing a rainbow.
Qatar and Fifa are now at war over the crackdown – with the football bosses ordering Doha to stop taking action against fans, reports inews.
Crunch meetings have taken place in which Fifa is said to have made its stance clear that “everyone is welcome” at the World Cup.
Football chiefs told the Qatari officials that security guards should not take rainbow items off fans at venues.
LGBTQ+ rights have been at the centre of controversies around the World Cup – with same-sex relationships punishable by death in Qatar.
Welsh fan group The Rainbow Wall reported only women were targeted and forced to remove their rainbow clobber.
And this included former Wales international football star Laura McAllister.
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“I certainly wasn’t going to give it up,” she told BBC Breakfast, saying her treatment was “heavy handed”.
“It’s an important symbol of everything that we’re about in Welsh football at the moment and hopefully the wider nation.”
It came just hours after confusion over the “One Love” armband planned to be worn by England skipper Harry Kane and other captains at the World Cup.
Fifa issued a ban and warned teams they could be issued yellow cards before kick off if they insisted on making the gesture.
US journalist Grant Wahl said he was detained by security staff after he wore a rainbow shirt to the game.
He claims a security guard told him the shirt was not allowed and “forcibly ripped” his phone from his hand.
The reporter said he was held for 25 minutes and told to remove his “political shirt”.
Wahl said eventually a security commander approached him and apologised – letting him through into the game.
DEATH OR JAIL
“But the entire episode left me wondering: What’s it like for ordinary Qataris who might wear a rainbow shirt when the world isn’t watching here? What’s that like?,” he said.
In Qatar, same-sex conduct is punishable by up to seven years in jail as it remains an offence under the Penal Code.
According to Article 296, “leading, instigating or seducing a male in any way to commit sodomy or dissipation” and “inducing or seducing a male or a female in any way to commit illegal or immoral actions”
Radha Stirling, founder and director of the Detained in Dubai legal aid group, previously told The Sun Online: “Sex outside marriage is illegal in Qatar so couples who book hotel rooms together are already in violation of the law, simply ‘hoping’ the law won’t be enforced.
“Homosexuality is unlawful and those who share a hotel room could be equally at risk.
“Visiting a destination and ‘hoping’ that illegal acts are not prosecuted puts visitors in a dangerous situation.
“Qatar’s abysmal human rights record means that abiding by the law does not protect visitors from prosecution or wrongful detention.
“Qatar should have been required to update laws to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected this year.”