Rainbows clearly have no place in Qatar, contrary to promises made upstream by the Organizing Committee of the World Cup. Journalist Victor Pereira, who covers the World Cup on behalf of several media outlets in his country, was also a victim, but did not wear the LGBTQ emblem. The Brazilian and his colleague Kelvin Maciel showed the flag of their state of Pernambuco, which has exactly these colors, when leaving the Lusail stadium, where he arrived to cover the meeting between Argentina and Saudi Arabia.
In a series of three videos posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Victor Pereira claims that the Qataris and the police came to capture them, having mixed up the emblems of this federal state in Brazil’s northeast. In particular, one man took the flag from the hands of a volunteer who was photographing him, according to a story given to TV Globo by the two men.
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Victor Pereira says he wanted to film the scene at the time, but his mobile phone was confiscated in turn. Witnesses in the crowd filmed the scene, which he then shared on social media. We do see the police holding the flag. We also see Victor Pereira explaining himself to a man dressed in traditional Qatari clothing, holding what looks like a journalist’s mobile phone with his official accreditation.
“They threw the flag on the ground and walked on it, then some people intervened to calm the situation,” Victor Pereira wrote on Twitter. Then I was forced to delete the video where I filmed what they were doing. »
“We even have a sense of rebellion. Because we were never even allowed to explain that the flag that we brought here is our national flag, which we are so proud of, ”continues Kelvin Maciel. If their flag is returned to them, the two journalists have requested the support of their embassy in Qatar for fear of losing their accreditation.
On Sunday, American journalist Grant Wahl was blocked by security for half an hour before he could enter the stadium where the United States met Wales. He wore a rainbow t-shirt in support of LGBTQ people. Leading up to the same match, other videos show the stadium staff questioning Welsh fans about headwear in these colours.
The rights of LGBT people are one of the ongoing criticisms of Qatar. homosexuality is illegal in the Gulf emirate and even punishable by death.