Rainbow bucket hats snatched from Welsh LGBT supporters by Qatari security ahead of World Cup clash with USA

21 November 2022, 19:27 | Updated: 21 November 2022, 20:10

Welsh fans claim LGBT supporters have had rainbow bucket hats confiscated by Qatari security
Welsh fans claim LGBT supporters have had rainbow bucket hats confiscated by Qatari security. Picture: LBC / Alamy / Twitter

By Danielle DeWolfe

Welsh football fans wearing rainbow bucket hats in support of the LGBTQ+ community have claimed Qatari security have confiscated the items ahead of their opening group match against the USA.

According to multiple Twitter users, the bucket hats were confiscated from female fans initially, while the male supporters retained their bespoke accessories.

It's also reported that supporters wearing rainbow t-shirts were told to remove them before being allowed access to the stadium.

It comes amid widespread criticism of Fifa and Qatar’s approach to the support of LGBTQ+ communities at the tournament, with captains – including England’s Harry Kane and Welsh Captain Gareth Bale, threatened with yellow cards if they choose to wear OneLove armbands.

Read more: Female TV reporter robbed live on air while covering World Cup in Qatar

Read more: England's six-y football! Three Lions enjoy record breaking World Cup win thrashing Iran 6-2

According to fan account @TheRainbowWall, male fans were then targeted by Qatari security, confiscating the LGBTQ+ items being worn by fans.

“Our rainbow bucket hat. We are so proud of them, BUT news on the ground tonight is our welsh female supporters wearing them in #Qatar are having them taken off them, Not the men, just Women,” read the post.

The Twitter account later tweeted: “We have an update that in the end the Rainbow Hats had been taken from the men also but it didn’t start out that way.”

They added: “@FIFAcom ARE YOU SERIOUS !! #LGBTQRights”

Operated by @Cymru LGBTQ+ Supporters Group, the Twitter account warned Welsh fans in Qatar to ”please stay safe”.

The account added: “We can not trust @FIFAcom at all and nothing they have said has been true.”

It comes amid criticism of Qatar’s human rights record, as homosexuality is met with a prison sentence of up to 7 years in the Gulf State.

Armbands were a way of nations showing their support for the community, however, Fifa labelled the move 'political', announcing that the wearing of OneLove armbands would contravene apparel guidelines laid out ahead of the tournament.

It stands in contrast to Qatar's initial pledge, which allowed rainbow symbols as part of their agreement with Fifa.

The Welsh team's opening match of the tournament against the USA is scheduled for Monday evening.

Wales sit in Group B of the tournament, pitted against England, Iran and the USA.

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