Monday, January 30, 2023

FIFA issue statement after England supporter is stripped naked by Qatar World Cup security

FIFA issue statement after England supporter is stripped naked by Qatar World Cup security

FIFA has issued a statement to reassure supporters of their safety in Qatar after an English fan was subjected to a humiliating and protracted strip-search while attempting to enter a World Cup stadium.

On Monday, Anthony Johnson was prevented from entering the Al Bayt Stadium for the Netherlands’ match against Qatar. The England fan was sporting two items of England apparel from the rainbow-colored “black pride spatter” collection.

He was denied admittance and then required to disrobe completely. 

 He told inews : “They said I had some metal on me and ushered me into a private area where they asked me to first take off my shorts, then my shoes, then take my pants down then my underwear then strip fully naked.”

After the 10-minute search, Johnson was kept for an extended period of time while officials returned his headgear. He was only permitted to enter the stadium after a police officer interfered.

A FIFA representative stated to Mirror Football: “FIFA is aware of some incidents where permitted items were not allowed to be displayed at stadiums. FIFA has received assurances by authorities that venue commanders have been contacted in relation to the agreed rules and regulations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“FIFA continues to work closely with the Host Country to ensure the full implementation of related regulations and agreed protocols.”

Johnson’s experience is unfortunately all too common for World Cup supporters in Qatar. There have been countless cases in which fans were denied access to stadiums because of their attire, banners, or flags. On Tuesday night, before to England’s 3-0 victory over Wales, England supporters painstakingly examined their flags and banners.

Qatar was required to agree to FIFA’s tournament regulations prior to the tournament. However, there appears to be a divide between the governing body of world football and local officials in Doha.

As a result of the OneLove armband story, in which seven nations refrained from wearing the item in support of LGBTQ+ people due to the danger of yellow cards, security has been increased surrounding rainbow colors. At early matches, Wales supporters were prohibited from wearing bucket hats, and flags and banners were confiscated.

The situation grew ludicrous when a man wearing a T-shirt picturing Michelangelo’s David was told he could not enter the stadium due to his attire revealing his nakedness.

“From day one, we have said everybody is welcome,” World Cup chief Hassan Al-Thawadi told talkSPORT on Monday. “We have also asked for people to come and respect our culture, our religion.

“It’s not a Qatari culture or Qatari religion, these values are regional. It’s for the Islamic world, the Arab world, the Middle East. We want everybody from every walk of life to come here and you’ve got people from every corner of the world engaging, educating themselves and having a good time.

“But when it comes to a topic like this, it is a complicated topic. This is something for us, or at least for this part of the world, that is a fundamental part of religious values.”

FIFA issue statement after England supporter is stripped naked by Qatar World Cup security

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