Fans allowed to wear rainbow hats at World Cup stadiums
The Welsh Football Association says it has been given assurances by FIFA that fans will be allowed to wear rainbow hats and carry rainbow flags at stadiums in Qatar.
Reports emerged of Welsh fans being told remove their rainbow ‘bucket hats’ before they entered the stadium for their opening World Cup match against the USA in Qatar on Monday.
But ahead of the team’s second Group B match against Iran at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Friday, Welsh football officials said they had received guarantees that the scenes would not be repeated.
“FIFA has confirmed that fans with Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be allowed entry to the stadium,” read a social media message from the Welsh FA. ‘The Rainbow Wall’ is the name of the Wales’ LGBTQ supporters’ group.
According to the AP, FIFA confirmed that it had been in contact with the Welsh FA, although security at World Cup stadiums is under the control of local organizers.
Rainbow imagery and human rights messaging has been a point of contention at the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
The captains of seven European countries, including Wales and England, planned to wear ‘One Love’ armbands for their matches, but backed down when faced with the threat of possible yellow cards.
German players protested the decision by covering their mouths in their team photo before their opening game against Japan, which they went on to lose 2-1.
The German football federation (DFB) later said it could pursue a case against FIFA at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) because of the armband ban.
On the eve of the tournament, FIFA unveiled its own set of armbands for captains to wear at different stages. The items include slogans such as “No to discrimination,” “save the planet,” and “football unites the world.”
Qatari and FIFA officials have consistently said that all fans will be welcome the World Cup, although they must also be respectful of local customs and traditions.