England fans say they were stripped naked and humiliated for dressing up as Crusaders at World Cup

26 November 2022, 11:52 | Updated: 26 November 2022, 16:36

Crusaders outside of the stadium
Crusaders outside of the stadium. Picture: Video Twitter
Fran Way

By Fran Way

Two England fans have claimed they were stripped naked and humiliated for dressing up as Crusaders at the World Cup England game.

The pair who live in Qatar, and who asked not to be named fearing the strict laws and rituals in the country, say they paid £3,000 for custom costumes from India which were inspired by comedy movie Monty Python.

They say they were asked ‘are you here to kill Muslims?’ when they walked into the stadium ahead of the match against Iran.

They were turned away at five different checkpoints for the wearing the offensive dress, which included head to toe chainmail and plastic props, and missed the first half of the match.

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When they surrendered their outfits they then reattempted to enter the stadium to watch the second half but claim they were ushered into a side room and ordered to strip.

One of the men told The Sun: “We are both huge fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and had our costumes handmade in India - they’re brilliant and cost £3,000 each.

"We thought it would be a laugh to dress up for the game in keeping with the tradition we’ve seen at virtually every previous World Cup.

"But the staff at the security checkpoints first denied us entry because of our helmets, then they said the shields and rubber swords were a problem, then the tunics were offensive.

"We ended up going back and forth five or six times to various checkpoints - all the time complying with their requests.

"This went on for two-and-a-half hours and led to us missing the first half so we decided to ditch all the gear as we’d paid more than £180 for our tickets.

"But as we tried to get in we were taken into a small side room by three staff and told to strip naked.

"There was no reason for it - they didn’t even search us - and it was just ritual humiliation. Absolutely appalling treatment."

Earlier this week England fans were warned not to turn up to the games in Crusader costumes over fears that it would cause upset to Muslims.

The best-known crusaders took place between 1095 and 1291 when Christian armies fought bloody battles to seize Jerusalem from Islamic ruling.

Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out warned that ‘knights or crusaders’ may not be a laughing matter at this World Cup.

A Crusader spoke to TV after the England win. Picture: TalkTV
A Crusader spoke to TV after the England win. Picture: TalkTV. Picture: Picture: TalkTV

READ MORE: England fans say they were stripped naked and humiliated for dressing up as Crusaders at World Cup

One of the crusaders even spoke with TalkTV after the game, slamming the treatment of supporters.

He said he’s been ‘lucky’ to stay in the fan-zone costing £250-a-night said: “The problem is, what they don’t realise in places like Qatar, the fans are the essence of the game.

“We are what makes the game. It’s not the corporates, they help financially in the background, it’s us the fans that make football and we are the football.”

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