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Australian football fan denied entry to Qatar ticketing centre after security finds rainbow flag in bag

Jayden Collins

Published 
| Last updated 

Australian football fan denied entry to Qatar ticketing centre after security finds rainbow flag in bag

A Socceroos supporter has claimed they were denied entry to the main World Cup ticketing centre in Qatar following a security bag inspection.

Wide World of Sports report that the anonymous fan had attempted to enter the ticketing building at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The fan says they were turned away when security personnel found a rainbow version of the Australian flag in his bag.

Homosexuality is currently criminalised in Qatar, with many fearing for their safety if they were to travel to the country.

Credit: Stephen Dwyer / Alamy
Credit: Stephen Dwyer / Alamy

The fan says he had initially been wanting to carry the flag to the Australia games but the experience at the ticket centre had put him off.

He told Wide World of Sports: “They told me I couldn't come in after looking through my bag - I haven't tried it at a game or anything after that experience.

"I really regret coming - but I came for the football."

The Socceroos fan is far from the only person to have run-ins with authorities over wearing rainbow pride paraphernalia or clothing.

Former Wales captain Laura McAllisterr was one of a number of fans told to remove their rainbow bucket hats ahead of their side’s World Cup match against the United States.

Only female fans were asked to remove the hats while male fans were allowed to keep them on.

The Welsh footballer said: “I pointed out that FIFA had made lots of comments about supporting LGBT rights in this tournament, and said to them that coming from a nation where we're very passionate about equality for all people, I wasn't going to take my hat off.

“They were insistent that unless I took the hat off we weren't actually allowed to come into the stadium.”

On Monday, United States-based reporter Grant Wahl attempted to enter the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium wearing a t-shirt with a football on it, surrounded by a rainbow.

Wahl's message reads: "Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. 'You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.'"

Shortly after, Wahl sent a follow-up in which he claimed he was 'detained' for nearly half an hour.

He said: "I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal. Am in the media centre, still wearing my shirt. Was detained for nearly half an hour. Go gays."

Meanwhile, captains of nine European teams were told they would be penalised if they wore ‘One Love’ armbands during their World Cup matchups.

SPORTbible reached out to Qatar for comment.

Featured Image Credit: rfranca / Alamy. PA Images / Alamy.

Topics: Australia, Football, Football World Cup, Qatar

Jayden Collins
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