World Cup 2022: American fan says he was kicked out of US-Iran match for wearing rainbow armband
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An American fan said he was escorted out of Qatar's Al Thumama Stadium ahead of the United States' match against Iran on Tuesday for wearing a rainbow armband.
American Brian Davis told Danish journalist Rasmus Tantholdt that security at the front gates told Davis his armband was good to wear. It was later when guards confronted him at his place.
Davis said the guards "twisted my arm" and were "very aggressive."
He was then escorted out of the stadium.
It is unclear whether he was allowed to re-enter the country.
The incident is the youngest of its kind at the World Cup. Two American journalists said they had been asked by authorities at the venues to remove rainbow-patterned clothing. Los Angeles Times reporter Kevin Baxter said he was told a rainbow-colored face mask was not allowed at the USMNT's training facility.
Ahead of USMNT's 1-1 draw with Wales, journalist Grant Wahl said he was briefly detained by security forces over a rainbow shirt he was wearing. Wahl said he was held for about half an hour and a security guard "forced my phone out of my hands." He was finally allowed into the stadium.
LGBTQ rights took center stage at the World Cup in Qatar, a country with a poor human rights record where homosexuality is criminalized. FIFA and other organizers have promised to welcome LGTBQ fans and players, but problems have cropped up throughout the tournament. Seven European teams halted plans to wear rainbow anti-discrimination armbands after FIFA threatened them with "sporting sanctions". FIFA also reportedly demanded that Belgium remove the word 'love' from the collar of their shirts.
A protester interrupted a game between Portugal and Uruguay on Monday night by running onto the field carrying a rainbow flag and a shirt supporting Iranian protesters and Ukraine.
American fan Brian Davis said security confronted him and was "very aggressive" when escorting him out of the stadium in Qatar on Tuesday for his rainbow armband. (Getty Images)
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