Welsh football fans have claimed that their rainbow hats were “confiscated” in Qatar ahead of the World Cup match with the USA yesterday (November 21).
Following the match which ended in a 1-1 draw – marking the first time Wales had played in a World Cup match in 64 years – the Football Association of Wales (FAW) said it was “extremely disappointed” that fans were told to remove the hats, and plans to address the matter with FIFA.
We’re frustrated. We’re disappointed.
But we remain with the belief that football is for everyone and stand with our LGBTQ+ members of the Welsh football family.
— FA WALES (@FAWales) November 21, 2022
In a statement, FAW said: “On Monday Cymru returned to the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 64 years, an historic moment for the squad, the valued fans – The Red Wall / Y Wal Goch – and the nation.
“However, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) were extremely disappointed by reports that members of Y Wal Goch, which included FAW staff members, were asked to remove and discard their Rainbow Wall bucket hats before entry to the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. These bucket hats were created in partnership with the FAW.
“The FAW has collated information on these alleged incidents and will be addressing this matter directly with FIFA today (22 November). The FAW will not be releasing any further comment at this stage.”
The news comes after it was announced that England and Wales would no longer wear ‘OneLove’ armbands during matches, which were designed as a gesture to support LGBT+ rights, but has now seen teams threatened with sanctions by FIFA for wearing them.
Artists including Sleaford Mods and Daniel Avery have have spoken out about the controversy surrounding the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and thousands and migrant workers were found to have died in the creation of stadiums for the event.
Comedian Joe Lycett made headlines this week by appearing to throw £10,000 into a tree shredder in protest of David Beckham’s involvement in the World Cup, though later confirmed that all the cash had actually been donated to charity.
Dua Lipa also denied rumours that she involved in the tournament opening ceremony, calling on Qatar to fulfil the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host the tournament.
Meanwhile, Newport rappers Goldie Lookin Chain this week premiered World Cup anthem ‘Football Football Football’.